Brisbane, Australia – A star is born. It was like a scene out of a movie, one we have seen before. An unheralded fighter is given no chance against an aging champion, and fights the fight of his life. Jeff Horn put Australian boxing on the map by winning a debatable unanimous decision against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in front of 52,000 rabid fans under the hot Australian sun. The judges had it 117-111 and 115-113 (twice).This was not your typical fight atmosphere, this felt more like a playoff football game, and Jeff Horn fought accordingly. Many of the crowd were dressed in bizarre costumes, chanting and screaming for their hometown hero. There was also a strong contingent of Filipino fans there to support their idol.The fight was a throwback to what the sport used to be capable of, airing live across the world and on network American television. This was the most important sporting event in Australian history.
The crowd went berserk as both fighters made grand entrances accompanied by fog and music by Aussie rock band AC/DC. Pacquiao stepped into the ring with Eye of the Tiger playing, an appropriate song given the Rocky-like scene that was about to unfold.
Round one was controlled by Horn, he drove Pacquiao back, never letting him set his feet. Scoring with hard body combinations and uppercuts inside.
Round two was a competitive round that Pacquiao won. He put a cap on it with a hard left at the bell.
Round three was a near even round which Pacquiao may have edged out in the final twenty seconds. Horn scored with hard right hands, while Pacquiao’s left was on display.
Horn’s size and strength were too much for Pacquiao in round four. Horn bullied Pacquiao around the ring scoring with hard right hooks to the head.
Round five was an all out war. Horn hurt Pacquiao at the beginning of the round with a hard three punch combo. Pacquiao answered back and controlled the final minute, rocking Horn with a straight left hand.
Horn jumped right on Pacquiao to open the sixth, pushing him back against the ropes and scoring with a hard right uppercut. A clash of heads caused a cut to Pacquiao’s hairline. Horn capped off a strong round by stinging Pacquiao with a hard flush right hook.
Pacquiao answered back early in the seventh, staggering Horn with straight lefts. In the middle of the round, Pacquiao’s face was a mess with blood after a head clash. Horn closed the round with a thunderous right hook.
Pacquiao controlled round eight, landing numerous hard left hands and pushing Horn back. Both men looked severely gassed as the round came to an end.
Pacquiao hurt Horn badly in round nine with an accumulation of left hands. Opening up a bad cut under Horn’s right eye. Horn weathered the storm and survived the round.
Round ten was all action, with both men trading their best weapons. Horn would land with a hard right hook and be followed up by a straight left from Pacquiao. Horn seemed to slightly edge Pacquiao in a razor-thin round.
Horn controlled the action in round eleven as Pacquiao seemed content to take the round off. Horn bullied Pacquiao around the ring scoring with a crisp jab and numerous hard right hands. Pacquiao woke up late in the round and made some noise, but it was not enough.
Both men needed round twelve and fought like it. Pacquiao landed more punches, but Horn’s were harder. The fight ended with both men trading hard shots and not giving an inch.
The crowd erupted when the scorecards revealed that Horn was the winner. An emotional Horn called out Floyd Mayweather jr, before calling for a Pacquaio rematch as well.
Manny Pacquaio admitted that Horn was much tougher than he expected, and that he intends to return to Australia for the rematch. He stated that he respected the judges decision, but many will not.
On the under-card; Aussie Damien Hooper won a tight decision over Umar Salamov to become the new WBO international light heavyweight title.
Aussie David Toussaint won a close split decision over Shane Mosley jr. The fight was competitive all action fight that could have gone either way.
Irish Olympic gold medalist Michael Conlan stopped over matched Aussie journeyman Jarrett Owen in round 3. The bout looked like little more than a sparring session.
In the co-main event Filipino Jerwin Ancajas defended his IBF junior bantamweight title by stopping Teiru Kinoshita with a right hook to the body in round seven. Ancajas opened up a cut over Kinoshita’s right eye with a hard left hook in the second round. His corner managed to stop the bleeding in between rounds, however Ancajas targeted the eye for the rest of the fight.