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Pacquiao backs GAB protest on Horn fight decision

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, left, lands a left, to Jeff Horn of Australia, during their WBO World Welterweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. | AP/Tertius Pickard

MANILA, Philippines – Stressing he does not want boxing to “die” because of questionable decisions and officiating, Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday said he is supporting the protest lodged by the Games and Amusements Board calling for a review of his fight with Jeff Horn.

In a statement, Pacquiao said the ball is now on the court of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), whose welterweight title previously held by the Filipino icon was at stake on Sunday’s bout. He called for the sanctioning organization to “take appropriate action” on GAB’s protest.

“WBO should take appropriate action on the letter sent by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) so as not to erode the people's interest in boxing,” Pacquiao said in the statement released through his Senate office.

Pacquiao lost to Horn in their 12-round tile fight at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday—an action-filled bout that saw the challenger imposing his size and will, at times through “dirty tactics,” on the Filipino icon.

The 29-year-old Horn forced Pacquiao to the ropes in the early rounds and at times held him in clinches and headlocks. While Pacquiao stormed back in the later rounds and almost had Horn out of his feet in the ninth round, he came up short on all three judge’s scorecards.

 Horn won by scores of 117-111 and 115-113 (twice), a result that was questioned by Pacquiao and his camp, and most recently by GAB.

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GAB then urged the WBO to conduct a “thorough” review of the fight, citing lapses by referee Mark Nelson and by the judges.

"While we respect the decision, we are constrained to request for a thorough review by the WBO for possible miscalls of the referee where some deductions were not made and of the judges in their judging that have caused varying opinions on their objectivity," read GAB’s protest letter.

Pacquiao believes he did just enough to win, but again reiterated that he respects the official decision.

“On my part, I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public,” Pacquiao added.

“I love boxing and don't wanna see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating.”

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