Brisbane, Australia (AP) — The World Boxing Organization will re-score the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight title fight because of the contentious unanimous decision awarded to the Australian challenger, but there is no plan to change the result.
The WBO was responding to a Philippines government department’s request to review the fight after Pacquiao said the decision against him Sunday was unfair.
The Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB) said it based the request on protecting boxing’s integrity, citing possible miscalls by the referee and judges. But the WBO reiterated its only hope of revoking the fight judges’ decision rests on proving fraud in match officiating.
“I would be very grateful if the GAB can provide any evidence indicating fraud or violation of law,” WBO President Francisco Valcarcel said in a letter to the GAB.
“The purpose of this review is to be able to give the fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout, even though we do not have the power to reverse the decision of the judges.”
The fight at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium was scored 117-111 by Waleksa Roldan and 115-113 each by Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan, with Roldan’s score coming in for most criticism.
In Manila, Philippines, GAB chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra welcomed the WBO’s decision to carry out a review, saying that even if that won’t change the outcome of the contentious bout, it will send a strong signal that any sign of leniency, abuse of authority or wrongdoing would not be tolerated.
“We’re happy with that,” Mitra told The Associated Press. “Our feeling is, if you’re quiet, you’ll get abused but if you complain, they’ll be careful … Manny is a senator, a champion, but was like wrestled there, abused by them. If it can be done to him, it can be done to any other Filipino boxer.”
Valcarcel said five anonymous judges will review the bout, assigning their own scores to rounds.
“Then, we will tabulate the results to ascertain clearly which rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 percent,” Valcarcel said. “This means that three of the five officials have to agree to determine which fighter won the round.”
Valcarcel supported the judges, who have each scored hundreds of fights.
“The officials who participated in this fight are all professional, distinguished, honest and honorable human beings,” he said.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao and 29-year-old Horn have a rematch clause in their contract.