Independent review confirms decision for Horn over Pacquiao

This file photo taken on July 3, 2017 shows newly crowned World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jeff Horn of Australia posing for photographs with his belt after a press conference in Brisbane, one day after he beat Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. (AFP/PATRICK HAMILTON)
Updated 11 July 2017

Independent review confirms decision for Horn over Pacquiao

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: An independent review of the scoring in Manny Pacquiao’s contentious WBO welterweight world title loss to Jeff Horn has confirmed the outcome in favor of the Australian former schoolteacher.
A Philippines government department asked the WBO to review the refereeing and the judging of the so-called “Battle of Brisbane” in Australia on July 2 after Horn, fighting for his first world title, won a unanimous points decision against Pacquiao, an 11-time world champion.
In a statement late Monday, the WBO said three of the five independent judges who reviewed the bout awarded it to Horn, one awarded it to Pacquiao and one scored a draw.
WBO President Francisco Valcarcel asked the judges, who came from different countries and remained anonymous, to assign their own scores to rounds, saying the results would be tabulated to ascertain which rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 100, 80 and 60 percent.
Based on the analysis, the WBO said Pacquiao won the 3rd, 8th and 9th round by 100 percent, the 5th round by 80 percent and the 11th by 60 percent. Horn was given the 1st, 6th and 12th rounds by 100 percent, the 2nd, 4th and 7th by 80 percent and the 10th by 60 percent.
“From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won 5 rounds while Horn won 7 rounds,” the WBO statement said.
A further step of combining the independent judge’s scores for each round with the bout judge’s scores for each round also confirmed a win for Horn, the WBO said.
The Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB) last week urged a review, saying it wanted to protect the integrity of the sport.
The fight, in front of more than 51,000 people at a rugby stadium in Brisbane, was scored 117-111 by Waleksa Roldan and 115-113 each by Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan — Roldan’s score coming in for most criticism. Pacquiao had Horn in wobbling and in trouble in the 9th round, but couldn’t finish him off. Horn rallied late to hold on for a points decision and remain unbeaten in 18 professional fights.
“It gives me evidence behind me that I can just use now. Instead of saying ‘I think I won the fight,’ now a heap of other people — professionally — think I won the fight,” Horn told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday as he prepared to board a flight for Los Angeles. “It’s definitely nice to have it finally put on paper.
“Now just to have it clear in front of us is good.”
Pacquiao had a rematch clause in his rich contract for the fight, and speculating is mounting about another showdown in Australia in November.
GAB chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra last week welcomed the WBO’s decision to conduct the review, saying it would send a strong signal that any sign of leniency, abuse of authority or wrongdoing would not be tolerated.
“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,” Mitra told The Associated Press in the Philippines’ capital after the WBO confirmed it would review the scoring. “If it can be done to him, it can be done to any other Filipino boxer.”


Real Madrid aim to put crisis behind them

Updated 31 October 2020

Real Madrid aim to put crisis behind them

MADRID:  Real Madrid will be hoping to leave their sticky patch behind them when they play Huesca in La Liga on Saturday, with an early six-point lead to preserve over Barcelona.

The resignation of Barca’s club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has overshadowed what has been a dramatic week for Madrid, who barely salvaged a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Trailing 2-0 with three minutes left, Madrid were facing a defeat that would have squandered the momentum gained from last weekend’s Clasico win at Camp Nou.

A late double from Karim Benzema and Casemiro ensured Zinedine Zidane’s side snatched a draw that felt like a win but to consolidate that positivity, they cannot afford another slip this weekend.

“The team is what it has shown, it’s about a reaction,” said Zidane. “The first half was very good, we played well. The pity is we conceded the first goal, but we continued to think it was possible, even at 2-0.

“That showed the character of the team and I’m very proud of them. We are not happy because we want to win, but we must be happy with the performance.”

Madrid play a Huesca side that is yet to win this season, as they followed four consecutive draws with a 4-1 loss away at league leaders Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Zidane could also hand Eden Hazard his first start since August, after the Belgian came off the bench in midweek.

That was Hazard’s first appearance of the season as he tries to overcome his latest injury setback, which the club have only described as a muscle injury.

“It’s good. I’m here to play football,” said Hazard on Wednesday. “After two or three months off the pitch, I’m so happy. I just want to play football, that’s why I’m here.”

On the last-gasp draw in Germany, Hazard said: “We showed great character, to be 2-0 down with five minutes to play, I think we could have scored one more, I could have scored one more, but I missed. It’s not three points but it feels like a victory.”

Zidane was determined to give Hazard time to recover fully and he believes the club will have to be cautious.

“He’s just started playing. It is his first game after a long time away,” said Zidane. “The plan was for him to try to play but little by little is what we have to do.”

A Madrid victory against Huesca could send them back to the top of the table, above Real Sociedad who are the only team to have retained top spot in consecutive rounds so far this term.

Real Sociedad play away at Celta Vigo on Sunday, just before third-placed Granada host Levante and struggling Valencia play at home to Getafe.

If Atletico Madrid win their two games in hand they will go top, with Diego Simeone’s side away at Osasuna on Saturday.

Barcelona, who beat Juventus on Wednesday, also have two games in hand but are seven points off the lead. Their new era without Bartomeu begins in La Liga away at Alaves on Saturday night.