Exclusive: Horn’s coach Rushton talks Pacquiao controversy, eyes more convincing rematch win
Jeff Horn was celebrated in his home country following a famous win over Manny Pacquiao last month, although a big number of detractors took the opportunity to slate the hard-working Australian’s victory.
Despite judges carding unanimously to crown Horn the new welterweight champion of the world, many fans and media members questioned the win, leading to a WBO recount taking place in the aftermath.
The result was ratified soon after, whilst trainer Glenn Rushton still believes a second fight is needed in order to fully give Horn the respect he deserves from beating one of boxing’s greats in Pacquiao.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but during the fight, I knew we were winning the contest,” Rushton exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Jeff was the aggressor throughout, and repeatedly drove Manny onto the ropes, something that rarely happens to Manny.
“Even Timothy Bradley commented that he had been unable to back Manny up like that. I don’t recall Jeff ever being on the ropes, even in that challenging ninth round.
“Whilst awaiting the decision, I told Jeff I believed we had won the fight by a couple of points, and that was with me giving Manny the benefit of the doubt in the close rounds.
“There were three judges, 2 from the USA, and one from Argentina. There were no Australian judges. Neither Jeff or I knew any of the officials.
“As you know, the three judges sit on different sides of the ring, and the cards are handed to the referee at the end of each round, who then hands them to the supervisor. There is no collusion between the judges, all of whom were highly experienced and respected, to the best of my knowledge.
“Further, the recount told a similar story. Even the judge who scored it 117-111 to Jeff could be excused, as it was only the close rounds where they differed.
“As each judge sits on a different side of the ring, and only views the fight from their particular angle in real time (i.e. no replays, or slow motion), it is understandable.
“Quite often the referee impedes a judge’s vision at a critical time, or a fighter has his back to the judge, making scoring difficult.
“Let’s face it, when you have a unanimous decision, backed up by a similar opinion in a recount – it’s time to accept it and move on.”
Pacquiao was made the number one contender by the WBO on the back of the manner of Horn’s win, leading to a certain second fight in the coming months, something Rushton is looking forward to.
“I’m pleased, and very much hoping the rematch happens,” he stated.
“Firstly, it’ll be another great fight, which is terrific for boxing, and secondly, we want to show the world it was no fluke.
“The victory was the result of careful planning (I spent numerous hours studying Manny Pacquiao, and crafted a detailed ten point plan to bring about the upset) and preparation (Jeff’s training was meticulous, with nothing left to chance).
“We will make the victory much more convincing in the rematch, as Jeff has grown immensely from the fight,” added Rushton.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay