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A true underdog story: the world reacts as Horn takes the points


A ticker-tape parade in Brisbane beckons for Jeff Horn after he etched his name into Australian sporting folklore.

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But the former schoolteacher will have to confront a hysterical overseas reaction to his win over Manny Pacquiao as he adjusts to life as a world champion.

Horn is the new owner of the WBO welterweight belt after a controversial points victory against Pacquiao yesterday in a brutal slugfest at Suncorp Stadium.

The unanimous decision in favour of the 29-year-old has prompted a storm of debate over the scorecards, with a host of prominent US celebrities, broadcasters and sports stars weighing in, and some even suggesting the outcome was rigged.

Judges Waleksa Roldan (117-111), Chris Flores (115-113) and Ramon Cerdan (115-113) adjudicated the fight. Roldan and Flores are from the United States and Cerdan is from Argentina, yet there have been accusations it was a hometown decision.

According to CompuBox statistics, Horn landed just 92 punches to Pacquaio’s 182, but some rounds were tight and difficult to score.

Manny Pacquiao during the bout. Photo: Dave Hunt / AAP

The controversy will not bother a beat-up looking Horn, whose right eye was completely closed over as he toasted his victory with family, friends and supporters at Brisbane’s Treasury Hotel last night.

It kicked off a week of celebrations for Horn, who is to appear with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk – Horn’s cousin – for a media opportunity today as his coronation as a local hero continues.

However, the perception among US fight fans that he did not deserve to beat Pacquiao will be something he has to deal with as he moves forward in his career, particularly with big-money fights against top-line welterweights in Las Vegas and New York now firmly on his radar.

Top Rank supremo Bob Arum, the man who opened the door to the US market for Horn, said he felt the win was fair.

“It could have gone either way,” Arum said.

“A couple of close rounds, but you can’t argue with the result.

“I scored a lot of the early rounds for Jeff. Then I had Manny coming back in the middle.

“The 12th round, Jeff really won. If you give Manny the 11th, you have it a draw. You give Jeff the 11th, it’s 7-5.”


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