In what several writers dubbed the eighth installment of the Rocky series, Jeff Horn upset Manny Pacquiao before 50,000-plus fans in his hometown of Brisbane. But this fairytale story was marred by the scoring of the judges. The social media page of the Queensland police was reportedly swamped with reports that a robbery had been committed. Both Horn and Pacquaio’s Wikipedia pages were vandalized by fans irate over the scoring.
Stateside, ESPN’s caustic Stephen A. Smith was in the forefront of the controversy. Smith called the decision garbage. “The thing I’m depressed about right now,” Smith told a national television audience, “is I don’t have the three names and the mug shots of the officials for the crime they committed.”
Here are some other reactions:
“They gave a win to Horn for trying hard – you are not supposed to get it for trying hard. You’re supposed to get it for winning.” – Teddy Atlas, ESPN
“This was a hometown hit job.” – T.J. Quinn, ESPN reporter and former adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism
“I wish we had Australian boxing judges for the NBA playoff series – I think the Celts could have beaten the Cavs.” – Bill Simmons, founder Bill Simmons Media Group (Editor’s note: the three judges were from New York, Arizona, and Argentina).
“(The judges) took the wind out of what was an amazing moment for boxing. Instead of talking about all that is good and raw and exciting about the sport, we are once again left talking about everything that is wrong with it.” – Tim Wood, Forbes contributor
(On the scoring of Ms. Waleska Roldan, the judge who had it 117-111): “That was as wide of the mark as the boomerang which never came back….I had the Pac Man winning all but one of the rounds.” – Jeff Powell, Daily Mail
But not everyone in the media was dumbfounded by the decision. Here’s a dissenting opinion from a well-known British sports personality:
“The story of the fight should be Pacquiao’s failure to finish Horn in the 10th round and not the scores….one crazy score of 117-111 for Horn was way off, but the other two judges delivered identical and correct scores of 115-113. Horn deserved his two-round win. Pacquiao looked utterly dreadful for six rounds and hopefully the Australian will get the recognition he deserves – after everybody stops screaming hysterics about a robbery.” – Steve Bunce, BBC personality and ESPN contributor.
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