Honestly now, did Pacquiao actually lose?
By Al S. Mendoza
OK, Manny Pacquiao lost.
We have to face the fact like men of honor.
But bitter as it is, there is an unseen beauty in it.
And it is this: Not only Filipinos were angered by the decision but many foreigners as well.
For the record, Pacquiao lost to Jeff Horn by unanimous decision.
Meaning, all three judges of the fight saw Horn the winner.
Two judges from the US and Argentina gave Horn identical 115-113 scores. That close.
The third judge, a lady from New York, made Horn the 117-111 winner. That one-sided.
Many sectors now want her investigated.
Our Games and Amusements Board officials filed a complaint requesting the World Boxing Organization to review the judging.
A futile shot.
Decisions in sports, boxing included, are always final.
Even if one judge’s decision is blatantly wrong, it can’t be changed.
Unless it’s too glaring a mistake as to strongly imply that some gobbledygook has tainted the officiating, it stays.
Remember the first Pacquiao-Marquez fight in 2004?
One judge admitted he committed a mistake.
He said he should have scored it 10-6 instead of 10-7 in the round where Marquez had kissed the canvas three times.
He was right. That 10-6 was the correct score.
Had the judge’s confession been accepted (I scored that round 10-6, too), Pacquiao could have won by split decision instead of the fight ending in a draw.
In the recent Pacquiao-Horn fight, not only was the judging flawed but the refereeing as well.
Mark Nelson, the third man in the ring, called Horn’s two head butts against Pacquiao accidental.
One head might be accidental. But two head butts?
Repeatedly, Horn locked down Pacquiao, wrestled Pacquiao and pressed Pacquiao down through the neck.
Yet, not one warning was given Horn.
He even counseled Horn to “show me something in the 10th round, or I will stop the fight.”
His counsel was uncalled for, a no-no, and that could have merited his downright disqualification.
I should know. I was once a licensed international boxing judge/referee.
Giving advice to both fighters during the fight is forbidden.
Nelson advised Horn after seeing how Pacquiao had brutalized and weakened Horn with power punches that virtually crumbled the knees and rearranged the Aussie’s face.
Horn’s crowding tactics and numerous illegal clinches were actually deceiving as they gave the impression he was beating Pacquiao.
But computer counting said otherwise, with Pacquiao ahead in all statistics on shots landed, including the number of power punches actually connecting.
Finally, I scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao.
Modesty aside, my verdict resembled that of many of the world’s experts, including former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, former NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Chauncy Billups, and ESPN’s Teddy Atlas, who has been a boxing analyst for 45 years.
Oh, well, as the saying goes, you can’t win them all.