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WBO to review Pacquiao vs Horn bout for 'certainty' of result

Aussie challenger Jeff Horn (left) and defending champion Manny Pacquiao during the "Battle of Brisbane" WBO welterweight title bout in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday. Horn defeated Pacquiao via unanimous decision. | Top Rank photo

MANILA, Philippines – The World Boxing Organization has had a change of heart and will now conduct a review of the welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn last Sunday.

Responding to the request of the Games and Amusement Board for a “thorough” review of the 12-round bout, WBO president Francisco “Paco Varcarcel” said it will grant GAB’s call.

Varcarcel, however, said there won’t by a reversal of the official result, which is a unanimous decision victory for Horn.

“The purpose of this review is to be able to give the fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout,” the WBO official said in his letter to the GAB.

The GAB, the regulatory body for all professional sports and athletes in the Philippines, lodged its protest Tuesday, which was backed by Pacquiao himself.

But in tweet Wednesday, the Puerto Rico-based organization said it won’t make a review of the fight  at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

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The WBO, whose welterweight title was at stake in the fight, has reconsidered, but insisted that the result will stick.

“We must make it clear that an Official’s discretion, whether Judge or Referee, is irrevocable. The decision of an Official should only be revoked when fraud or violations of the Law occur. I assure you that the Officials who participated in this fight are all professional, distinguished, honest and honorable human beings,” Valcarcel added.

Horn defeated Pacquiao with scores of 117-115 and 115-113 (twice) in an action filled-bout that featured the Australian imposing his size and will on the Filipino icon. There were times the 29-year-old Brisbane native employed rough tactics in an effort to keep Pacquiao off rhythm.

Pacquiao stormed back in the later part of the fight, and was on the brink of knocking Horn out in the ninth round.

The WBO said it will assemble a five-member panel composed of judges from different countries who will watch that fight “without sound distraction” that could affect their judgment.

“Then, we will tabulate the results to ascertain clearly which rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 per cent. This means that 3 of the 5 officials have to agree to determine which fighter won the round,” Varcarcel continued.

The WBO conducted a similar review of Pacquiao's first fight with Timothy Bradley in 2012, which ended up in a controversial decision victory for the American. The five-member panel concluded Pacquiao winning the fight with scores of 117-111, 117-111, 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113.

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