Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight title to Australia's Jeff Horn by unanimous decision at the end of a 12-round slugfest in Brisbane on Saturday (Sunday morning Indian time).
The Filipino legend, 59-6-3 was involved in a surprisingly close match with underdog Horn, who was fighting in front of 55,000 boxing fans at the Suncorp Stadium. The 29-year-old school teacher started on a high and dominated the initial few rounds, only to see Pacquiao stage a fightback.
In the match, billed as 'Battle of Brisbane' both the boxers kept landing fierce punches on each other. Pacquiao started bleeding profusely from the head due to two accidental headbutss — in the sixth and seventh rounds.
However, the 38-year-old boxer stepped up and almost knocked out Horn with an array of punches as blood splattered on referee's shirt. However, the local favourite, who has taken his win tally to 17, regathered himself in the 10th round and made sure the slugfest went the full distance.
At the end of the bloodbath, not many expected all the referees to score the fight in favour of Horn — 117-111, 115-113, 115-113. Boxing fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment at what they felt was yet another controversial decision that went against Pacquiao.
Notably, the boxing world saw similar reactions in 2012 when Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight title to Timothy Bradley by split-decision. The judges' decision at the time was labelled "outrageous" by promoter Bob Arum while Amir Khan said the Filipino legend was "robbed" of a title.
'And new...!' Jeff Horn upsets Manny Pacquiao to win the WBO welterweight title pic.twitter.com/OyHKiKXOk8— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 2, 2017
Terrible decision in Brisbane. Jeff Horn gifted decision against Manny Pacquiao. Manny no longer elite. Not close. Neither was this fight.— Tom Sorensen (@tomsorensen) July 2, 2017
Hometown scoring just beat @mannypacquiao. I agree is was a close fight but...not a loss.— Ronnie Brown (@ronnie23brown) July 2, 2017
Seriously how does Manny Pacquiao lose that fight? unanimous decision! Do me a favour ?— Terry Gibson (@TerryGibson88) July 2, 2017
Manny Pacquiao setting a new standard for grace in the face of highway robbery.— Ian O'Connor (@Ian_OConnor) July 2, 2017
Pacquiao though avenged his defeat to Bradley in 2014 with a unanimous decision win in Las Vegas. After his shock defeat earlier today, the Filipino legend has reportedly said he is ready for a rematch later this year against Horn.