It isn’t just Filipino boxing fans who were baffled over the result of the Manny Pacquio-Jeff Horn WBO welterweight title fight on Sunday in Brisbane, Australia. In fact, social media has been flooded with outcries from netizens in countries faraway that the Filipino prized fighter had been robbed of a clear win by the referee and judges’ decision favoring Horn and his dirty tricks.
Even celebrities expressed disbelief over the former PE teacher’s hometown advantage, which tipped the victory his way despite the disparity of punches he landed on Pacquiao.
Himself a three-time world heavyweight champion, boxer Lennox Lewis quickly posted on Twitter: “Wow! PAC loses by UD? One judge had it 117-111? Wasn’t the fight that I saw!” He followed up with, “This is what’s wrong with boxing. Horn was very game but I’m hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch! #PacHorn.”
Hollywood great Samuel L. Jackson was more expressive and explicit: “Uhhhhhhh, can U Say Bullsh*t? Manny got F*cked! That’s the Face of a Winner?!”
American sportswriter Bill Simmons, meanwhile, took a pun on the panel and said, “I wish we had Australian boxing judges for NBA playoff series – I think the Celts could have beaten the Cavs.”
Boxing experts also weighed in on the puzzling results. Hall of Fame boxing analyst Al Bernstein for Showtine Television, posted, “All righty the 117-111 for Horn is um…wrong. 2 pt. win for Horn is possible, but maybe a stretch—I could see a draw or close for Pac.”
American boxing correspondent Marcos Villegas, tweeted, “It was close. Competitive. But Manny edged it out for me. I had him up by one point.”
Moreover, Filipino-Canadian boxer Mac Pagcalingawan, who now trains under Freddie Roach, posted on Facebook, “You have nothing more to prove. You’ve done it all. Manny Pacquiao#TeamPacquiaoForever #Filipino Pride #Mabuhay.”
On the home front, Filipino celebrities were one in praising the Pacman for being gracious in defeat, even when he knew he had won the fight.
Derek Ramsay, who watched the fight while on holiday in the Amalfi Coast, posted on Instagram, “Stats don’t lie. I thought boxing was all about landing more punches. Manny clearly dictated the fight and showed more aggression. This is why the sport has such a bad reputation and in my opinion its days will come to an end if they don’t clean up all the politics. @mannypacquiao not because I’m a Filipino, but because I am a big fan of sport, I believe you are the greatest of all time. You are a class act in and out of the ring, and whether you win or lose. Taking this loss, the way you did makes me respect you even more. Whatever you decide after this fight, the entire nation will support you. You are our champ!”
Lovi Poe declared, “You’re the man. Manny! You’ve brought pride to our country more than any person has ever done in the history of the Philippines! You are the people’s champ and that in itself is a timeless victory. #PinoyPride.”
Doctor to the stars Vicki Belo also shared her thoughts on Instagram: “You will always be our People’s Champ. Your bravery and courage will continue to inspire us. Thank you. To God be the glory.”
Singer-songwriter-TV host-comedian Ogie Alcasid said on Twitter, “#Manny Pacquiao is a true warrior. God bless you Manny.”
Towards the end of the day, however, the most popular post that calmed the fans down was the People’s Champ’s very own words: “Tough fight but win or lose, always know that I give everything I’ve got for the Lord, my family, country and my fans! Thank you for your support and congratulations to Jeff Horn. God is good! #TeamPacquiao.”
The Filipino pride and his team arrived in Manila past 1 pm on Monday from Australia.