(Reuters) – The World Boxing Organisation (WBO) has concluded that judges were correct to name Australia’s Jeff Horn the winner in his bout against Manny Pacquiao last week after the controversial points decision in Brisbane sparked calls for a review.
Horn took the Filipino great’s welterweight world title after judges scored the bout 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 in the 29-year-old’s favor but many observers questioned the outcome, saying the officials had made a “hometown decision”.
The WBO agreed to review the decision and on Tuesday released its results, which backed up Horn as the victor.
“The Jeff Horn vs. Manny Pacquiao bout results were controversial, causing disputes amongst fans. For this reason, transparency is so important,” the WBO said in a statement.
“Based on this, five anonymous, competent judges from different countries were asked to watch the bout without sound.
“To determine the winner of each round, three out of the five officials have to be in agreement.
“From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won five rounds while Horn won seven rounds.”
While there has been talk that 38-year-old Pacquiao may retire, a rematch was written into the contract for the initial fight and the pair are expected to face each other again later this year.
Former schoolteacher Horn, who improved his record to 17-0-1 after the win over the eight-division world champion, said he felt vindicated after the WBO’s statement.
“It gives me evidence behind me that I can just use now,” he told reporters at Brisbane Airport on Tuesday. “Instead of saying I think I won the fight, now a heap of other people – professionally – think I won the fight.”
Horn will be attending the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
(Writing by Peter Rutherford in Seoul, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)