Real-life Rocky?: Pacquiao vs Horn reaction

Boxing Monthly
02/07/2017 2:18pm

Robbery or real-life Rocky-style romance? Martin Chesnutt and Andrew Harrison give their views of 'The Battle of Brisbane', after Jeff Horn toppled Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision...

"From the first round Jeff Horn made a play to control the pace of the fight. He smothered Pacquiao, roughed him up, and made it as ugly as he needed to. This is not a knock on Horn’s skills. He boxed well at times, and almost every round was competitive. He did what he had to do, and handled the big stage very well.

"A lot of people were quick to mark this fight as the moment Manny got old. That is too convenient for me, and also takes away from Horn’s performance. However, either Pacquiao was not prepared and allowed Horn to dictate the pace, or possibly, Manny got old!

"Pacquiao turns 40 in 2018 and, with absolutely nothing left to prove, a lot of people wonder why he is still boxing. Athletes in general, and many boxers, rarely time their exit well.

"Seven years ago, when Pacquiao was becoming more politically involved, his trainer, Freddie Roach, suggested that his star pupil’s boxing would suffer due to politics, and would accelerate the demise of his killer instinct.

"In the ninth round, with time on his side, Pacquiao had Horn reeling, but could not finish him off. The version of Manny that will be remembered once he retires, the lightning quick wrecking ball that he was prior to entering politics and finding inner peace, would have closed the show.

 "I scored it 115-112 for Pacquiao, but was comfortable with 115-113 either way. Nearly every round was close, so hearing full-time, career boxing people resort to 'robbery' claims, is exasperating and tiresome." - Martin Chesnutt

"I caught the fight this morning, oblivious to the stink still permeating social media, and the half-cocked 'robbery' calls that follow just about every major contest that produces a close result after 12 rounds.

"Horn fought out of his skin: he was rough, awkward, committed and full of beans. Pacquiao still looked sharp in spots, yet very laboured. Tellingly, the Filipino legend griped and grimaced a lot whenever Horn pushed him around in close and on the ropes – signs that an ageing fighter has lost the appetite for hard battle.

"I scored it 116-113 to Horn, who was a mile ahead at half-way. Pacquiao remains a physical freak. At his age, after all of the wars, the snap and speed he's managed to retain is remarkable. He just looks like a fighter who has finally tired of being punched in the face.

"Hopefully Horn will be given the credit he deserves. After the derision aimed his way pre-fight, he reminded everyone that you don't mess about with Aussie boxers named Jeff.

"The romance of boxing was alive and kicking down under. It's just a shame some felt the need to pee in the vase of roses." - Andrew Harrison