Critics slam ‘Battle of Brisbane’ judges, call Jeff Horn a 'dirty fighter'

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Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn
Filipino boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao raises his boxing winning belt during a news conference upon arrival, after winning WBO welterweight bout with Jessie Vargas. Reuters/Erik De Castro

Critics have slammed the judges who awarded the “Battle of Brisbane” to Jeff Horn. Manny Pacquiao’s strength coach said the unanimous decision must have gone their way.

Justin Fortune, former heavyweight boxer, was reportedly spotted after Pacquiao failed to attend his scheduled press conference. He called the judges “crazy” and made it clear he does not agree with the result of the weekend fight. He also criticised the referee for being “sketchy," adding that Horn looked like a pumpkin, thus the scorecards should display the opposite. The judges scored the bout 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 for the Australian boxer.

'Dirty fight'

“It was a sh*tty referee, sh*tty judging,” quotes Fortune as saying. He predicted that Horn would mentally collapse by the time he walked out of the ring. Fortune has been working with Pacquiao since 2002.

Fortune also admitted they have underestimated the 29-year-old. He said the local fought better than they thought he would.

But fight commentators from different parts of the worlds did not restrain their assessment of Horn and called him a “dirty’ fighter.” Many took to social media to express their reaction when veteran ring announcer Michael Buffer declared the winner. Some alleged the fight was “rigged.”

“Horn has been fighting dirty the entire time and they're still calling it accidental?” one Twitter user wrote. Some accused the judges of “robbing” the Filipino.

ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas also expressed disapproval against the result, saying they gave a win to the local for trying hard, but argued it was not supposed to work that way. He recognised though that Horn has the “heart of a champion” and congratulated him.

Beating a legend

Meanwhile, Associated Press’ Tim Dahlberg argued that Pacquiao should realise he didn’t do enough to take the fight out of the judges’ hands, adding it was him who let the fight to be as close as it was. Dahlberg said it was time to give Horn credit “for beating a legend.” He added that those commenting on ESPN and in social media must have been calm.

Steve Bunce, a British boxing writer, agreed with Dahlberg. For him, Pacquiao “looked like a beaten man and he was.” Horn deserved the win, according to Bunce, stressing that Pacquiao looked dreadful for six rounds. Bunce was hopeful the Aussie boxer will get the recognition he deserves "after everybody stops screaming hysterics about a robbery."

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