Jeff Horn came back from the edge of defeat in the ninth round to score a controversial decision victory in the fight of his life against Manny Pacquiao.
‘The Hornet’ used rough-house tactics to consistently throw Pacquiao off his stride in the first half of the contest, although the Filipino former Pound for Pound king still seemed to be the more accurate of the two.
Two headbutts opened up bad gashes on Pacquiao’s head as Horn lead with his forehead time and again in a bid to unsettle the champion.
Through eight rounds the fight was certainly close on the cards, whilst Horn’s tank was almost empty as Pacquiao piled on the pressure in the ninth.
Referee Mark Nelson warned Horn, whose face was a real mess by this time, he had to show him something or he’d be pulled out of the fight and the challenger came back galvanised to give it one last big effort.
A bloody Pacquiao still looked to be landed more than the tough Aussie but when the scorecards came back it was Horn who had his hand raised.
Judges carded 117-111 and 115-113 (twice) in favor of Horn who can claim a career-best win over what was sadly a shell of the old ‘Pacman’ at the Suncorp Stadium.
Talk of a rematch in November may be seize upon by Pacquiao and his team and may come to fruition should the Senator need another payday.
Horn claims a first world crown as he carries the WBO welterweight title the short distance to his Brisbane home as Pacquiao contemplates his future at the age of 38.