Veteran trainer and ESPN expert analyst Teddy Atlas was furious after Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Jeff Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in a Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 51,000 people in Brisbane.
The 11-time world champion entered the fight at Suncorp Stadium as a hot favorite but got more than he bargained for against the 29-year-old former schoolteacher. Still, Pacquiao dominated the later rounds and had Horn wobbling at the end of the 9th.
Pacquiao's long-time trainer Freddie Roach predicted the fight would be short and sweet but Horn — unbeaten in his 17 previous professional fights — applied pressure by winning some of the early rounds and Pacquiao needed treatment during the 6th and 7th rounds for a cut on the top of his head that resulted from a clash of heads.
The judges scored the fight 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113.
Roach had said earlier in the week that he'd think about advising Pacquiao to retire if he lost the fight, but that would depend on how he fought.
Pacquiao's camp had talked about a rematch with Mayweather if he got past Horn, hoping to avenge his loss on points in the 2015 mega fight. That seems to be a distant chance now.
Pacquiao, who entered the fight with a record of 59-6-2, 38 knockouts, was defending the WBO title he won on points against Jessie Vargas last November.
"It’s only one of two things, it’s either incompetence or corruption. When you see 117-111, I don’t think anyone could be that incompetent. I’m sorry. If you know the sport, you watch the sport, you can’t be that incompetent," Atlas was quoted by The Herd Now.
"You see who’s landing clean, who’s just throwing, who’s not landing clean, who almost got knocked out, you can’t be that incompetent. So what else could it be? Corruption. Nothing else. I’m sorry. I love this sport, it’s the greatest sport in the world. It was a great day, a great night back where you guys are. It was great for the fans out there to get it on free TV, brought back to free TV where boxing belongs. It was great! It was great theater. There’s no theater like boxing. Nothing. But the decision stunk."