Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum is rejecting any claims that last weekend's judges in Brisbane were corrupt or dishonest.
Arum's star fighter, Manny Pacquiao, lost a twelve round unanimous decision and his WBO welterweight title to huge underdog Jeff Horn before a crowd of over 51,000 at the Suncorp Stadium.
The three judges were Waleska Roldan of New York, Chris Flores of Arizona and Ramon Cerdan of Buenos Aires, Argentina - who rendered scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 for Horn.
Since the loss, there has been an outcry from a number of observers who felt Pacquiao was robbed and there have also been more than a handful of conspiracy claims that a hometown decision was handed down.
There is a rematch clause, but the 38-year-old Pacquiao has yet to make a decision on whether or not he intends to continue his fighting career.
“You had 40,000 Australian fans and 15,000 Filipino fans in the stadium,” said Arum to the Philippine Star. “When Horn landed a punch, the Australian fans were all screaming. When Manny landed, there was virtual silence. If you were a judge, of course, you’d be influenced. You’re only human. But if you think they were dishonest, I wouldn’t agree.”
Arum also shook his head at claims that referee Mark Nelson of Minnesota was showing favoritism for Horn by not taking away points for elbows or head butts.
“Both guys were doing things,” Arum said. “There was a lot of holding by Manny and Jeff.”
“I heard guys in Manny’s camp talking like the only way Manny would lose to Horn is if he trips on the way to the ring. That kind of talk leads to overconfidence. I’ve seen Horn fight before. That guy’s tough and he showed it against Manny. You can’t look beyond someone like Horn.”
“I’m not advocating a rematch. think Manny can still fight at a high level. But he’s not getting younger. He’s not the same as he was some years back. He’s got more responsibilities now as a senator. He’s got to think things through in the next few days or weeks. If he still wants to fight, then I’ll support him.”