This past weekend Manny Pacquiao didn’t appear on Pay-Per-View for the first time in 10 years.
The Filipino icon took on little known Australian on ESPN and no one expected the result that occurred. Going in everyone had Pacquiao beating the much younger Horn. During the fight Horn showed some real guts by not backing down from the legend, but in the end pretty much everyone had scored the fight for Pacquiao. The problem is that the only opinion that mattered was that of the three ringside judges and they all scored it for Horn.
The controversial unanimous decision had boxing fans enraged. Here are some reason why this decision was one of the most controversial ever. You can see the entire list at Evolve MMA.
1) The punch stats were overwhelmingly in favor of Pacquiao
There aren’t many instances where punch statistics play a big role in determining the winner of a close fight, but in this case, it has become a good reference point in trying to decipher exactly what had just transpired.
Admittedly, Pacquiao at 38 wasn’t nearly as good as he had shown earlier in his career and looked and played every bit of the part of his advanced age. As the rounds wore on, it became more and more evident that the Pacquiao of today is merely a shell of his former self. The Filipino fighting senator was surprisingly slow and sluggish, and his timing was completely off.
Regardless of the fact, however, an old Pacquiao had just enough left for the younger Horn. According to official punch statistics, Pacquiao connected on 32% of his total punches, landing 182 out of 573 as compared to Horn’s 15%, from 92 out of 625. In power punches, Pacquiao threw 380 and connected on 123, while Horn landed just 73 out of 428 to go 17%. This means that Pacquiao landed the cleaner, more powerful blows over 12 rounds while throwing less which showcased his accuracy and efficiency.
To put things in perspective, Pacquiao connected much more on Floyd Mayweather (18%) in May of 2015 than Horn connected on the Filipino superstar, but somehow Horn was awarded the decision. If punch stats were the sole determinant of a winner, Pacquiao won that battle by a wide margin.
2) Pacquiao nearly stopped Horn at the end of round nine
While professional boxing is scored by rounds, no one can deny the fact that Horn was virtually out on his feet by the end of round nine, when Pacquiao turned back the hands of time with a vintage performance to light up an opponent who was ready to go at any moment.
Pacquiao strafed Horn from rope to rope with a volley of blistering left and right hands. Moving backward for the first time in the fight, Horn tried his best to survive, but Pacquiao chased his opponent around like he did to guys when he was 10 years younger.
If boxing scored points for near-finishes, like they do in Mixed Martial Arts, Pacquiao is the hands down clear winner in that category. For all intents and purposes, Horn was finished in that round, and even walking back to his corner you get the sense that it was only a matter of time before the referee put an end to his agony.
But Horn is a young guy, and he recovered quite well during the break. Pacquiao took his foot off the gas pedal in the 10th round, allowing the Australian to regain his bearings and climb back into the fight for a strong finish.
Coming into the ninth round, however, it was clear to everyone watching who was ahead at that point, and it wasn’t Horn.
You can read the rest of the reasons here.