ESPN results: Jeff Horn upsets Manny Pacquiao

Photo credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images


Jeff Horn received a unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night in a fight that over-delivered in action and underwhelmed in its position to become a great occasion for boxing.


The allure of the fight’s promotion was its non pay-per-view price tag for those in the United States. It had been 12 years since that last happened on a night Pacquiao was fighting and, telecast live on ESPN from the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, it pretty much didn’t matter that no one knew who Horn was.


Quickly, those watching him for the first time figured out he was a fearless fighter and why shouldn’t he be? Fighting a living legend in his hometown, Horn, 29, had nothing to lose in front of his hometown and, in the first round, he made it clear that was the case by pressing the action on the jittery southpaw from the Philippines. Pacquiao had to feel out Horn a bit before he could get in any sort of rhythm and unleash the fast hands that have gotten him worldwide acclaim.


At the end of the second, Pacquiao shuffled his feet after landing a few consecutive left hands and, by the end of the third, Horn’s face was cut near the right eye from those shots. Flashes of the Pacquiao who built the legend were spurting out of the 38-year-old’s body, and Horn looked confused in those moments, as he was lost in the whirlwind of speed. Horn never let these low points deter his motor, however, and the intensity of his aggression started to spill over the line of the rules – something that tends to happen when people fight.


Every chance he had, Horn tried to rough Pacquiao up with shots in the clinch and forearms that rubbed around his head. It was never too blatant for referee Mark Nelson to notice but he let them fight. In the sixth, Horn’s rugged aggression forced an accidental clash of heads that brought a nasty gash on Pacquiao’s scalp. It was on the right side of his head and also forced a time-out during the round for the ringside doctor to examine the bleeding cut. To make matters worse for Pacquiao, a right hand stunned him to end the sixth, and a spirited Horn found himself seemingly back in the fray.


The bad luck continued for Pacquiao in the seventh, in which another inadvertent clash of heads forced a worse gash on Pacquiao’s head – this time on the other side. It leaked much worse than the first cut but, in an action fight, the blood from both fighters enhanced its entertainment value and brought about unexpected drama. Pacquiao eventually repaid him for the asperity in the eighth round, as he had Horn on his heels from his ability to pick his shots while swerving out of the way. The “Pacman” continued that success into the ninth, where he had his best round of the fight and had Nelson looking for a moment in which to intervene.


It was vintage Pacquiao, 59-7-2 (38), in that ninth frame. Light on his toes, sharp with his power shots and blinding in his speed, Pacquiao laid a beating on Horn in that span of three minutes and could’ve compelled a 10-8 scorecard without a knockdown. The right side of Horn’s face was bruised and battered by its end and, in his corner afterward, Nelson warned Team Horn that he would give him one more round to show him something. The corner shrugged Nelson off like it was no problem and Horn bit down and got himself back in the fight by stepping on the gas pedal. After a 10th round in which Horn gave enough of an effort to win the frame, one thing was certain: Pacquiao let the knockout slip away.


The final six minutes featured both fighters having their moments and, just after the final bell, Pacquiao shadowboxed a few punches and seemingly wanted more. The ESPN clock had eight seconds or so left on it when the final bell rang but, nonetheless, a fun fight was given to a giant audience and those watching under the afternoon sun in Australia stood on their feet for those at home.


117-111 and 115-113 twice were the official scores but Horn being announced as the new WBO welterweight titleholder was certainly a shock. Horn, 17-0-1 (11), celebrated with his team, as he should, because it his fearless effort got him in that position. Pacquiao, who’s been on both sides of this decision before, took the loss graciously but was clearly disappointed. The final punch stats, according to CompuBox, were glaring. Pacquiao landed 182 of 573 punches, while Horn landed 92 of 625 thrown, and, while the fight didn’t seem that lopsided, the consensus opinion of who really won was.


The stage was set for boxing to flourish with one of its living legends fighting past his prime on a medium so rarely seen for fighters of his caliber. The fight delivered but a hex of the sport reared its ugly head once again, leaving a bad taste from a compelling fight, that seemingly everyone had their eyes on. Many of those eyes were new to the sport, or watching a comet pass along, and maybe they found the result underwhelming. For those who watch this time and time again, however, what is more disenchanting was this result wasn’t much of a surprise.


Jerwin Ancajas, 27-1-1 (18), defended his IBF super flyweight title for the second time with a tremendous seventh round body shot on Teiru Kinoshita, 25-2-1 (8).


With his eye swollen shut from a cut suffered in the second round, Kinoshita suddenly fell to the canvas after Ancajas set up and delivered a perfect right hand to the ribs. Kinoshita, Kobe, Japan, got up from the shot an d beat referee Ignatius Missailidis’ 10-count but, with the clear look at the busted eye of the challenger, he figured that should be it.


Ancajas, a flashy southpaw from Cavite City, Philippines, was able to follow up with his left hand off the jab early on and seemingly forced that cut on Kinoshita with a left hand in the second. That was the ruling from Missailidis but, upon further review, Ancajas’ forearm may have grazed it a bit. Nonetheless, Kinoshita fought through the cut, even though it leaked for the rest of the fight and he even sparked some life in a rough start in the fifth round by landing his right hand to the body. It was only for that round, however, and, as Ancajas regained full control, the fight was becoming listless, until the show-stopping right hand to Kinoshita’s body.


Infamous Irish Olympian Michael Conlan earned a stoppage victory over Jarrett Owen in the third round of a mismatched featherweight fight. Scheduled for six, Conlan, 3-0 (3), started to cut the ring off well in the second, and that corralled the hometown fighter into heated exchanges for which he wasn’t equipped. After getting hurt with a left hand to the body, Owen, 5-5-3 (2), bent over and stopped fighting back in the third, letting Conlan land consecutive right hands to the head and forcing a stoppage by referee Tony Kettlewell.


In the opening bout of the ESPN telecast, David Toussaint beat Shane Mosley Jr. via split decision (77-76 twice, against a 77-75 card for Mosley) after eight rounds of middleweight action. It was a hard-fought affair but Toussaint, 11-0 (8), had a right hand that couldn’t miss the stationary head of Mosley, 10-2 (7).



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