“Hey, don’t you worry, I’ve been lied to,
I’ve been here many times before..”
“But minute by minute by minute by minute
I keep holding on..”
No sooner did Michael Buffer bellow the words “And the new…….”, an old familiar adversary from the lexicon came calling…..ROBBED.
You could make a case to bag and tag the pen that entered the 117-111 score card and place it into the police evidence room but other than that, this was far from a robbery.
I did not score the fight while watching it live but believed Manny Pacquiao had done enough to win. Did I miss something? Did the judges have it right? I needed a second look.
To follow up, I decided to take a deeper look than usual by reviewing each round a minute at a time. I would decide who I believed had the advantage in each third and then determine which body of work I favored for a particular round. By body of work I’m looking at the four criteria that are assumed are used in scoring a fight, defense, effective aggression, clean punching, and ring generalship.
Protect yourself at all times…..
- First Minute- Horn’s the aggressor to start the round, boxing in and out, exhibiting a live jab, both landing and missing the punches he throws. Pac lands a scoring shot of his own. Horn forces Pac to the ropes, at least 5 out of 7 punches score, both to the head and body.
- Second Minute-Pac lands a solid punch, Horn’s movement is lively. Horn backs Pac to ropes and lands at least four scoring blows to the body. Pac lands off the ropes as the action navigates back to the middle of the ring. There are misses by both. Horn lands two counter rights due to Pac’s wildness.
- Third Minute, not a lot of action, lots of feints by both, Pac lands several solid jabs.
Round to Horn, Horn 10-9
- First minute-Not a lot of action. Both fighters are missing and are moving quite a bit. Both are about even with a few landed punches. Horn forcing the action by his forward movement.
- Second minute– Horn agian forcing the action by moving in with an active jab as Pac looks for counters and as Horn moves in Pac lands a few. Horn backs Pac down to the ropes lands a shot, grabs Pac, holds and hits. Horn is active in the clinch, punching anything he can until the ref breaks them. Both land a punch or two ending the second minute.
- Third minute-Straight left by Pac, best punch by him in the first two rounds. A lot of movement by Horn. Both are landing a shot here and there. Pac is the aggressor now and lands another good left at 22 seconds to go. A flury by both the last 12 seconds, both land but Pac lands the better punches and his movement causes Horn to miss .
Round to Pac, 19-19, (Even)
- First minute-Horn starts out backing Pac to the ropes, hitting a lot of gloves. Horn using lots of in/out movement. Horn lands a solid left hook to the body, right hook to the head.
- Second minute-Horn the aggressor, Pac countering with a straight left. Pac the aggressor now coming forward with an active jab, both land a few punches to close out the second minute.
- Third minute-Pac with a counter right hook. Horn coming in hitting gloves then holding. Pac out landing Horn to close the round.
Round to Pac, 29-28 Pac
- First minute- Horn moving forward lands a straight right and a left to start the round; however, missing a lot. Pac lands two nice counter punches.
- Second minute- Both are mixing it up a bit more. Pac is landing the better blows, a straight left, counter right hook, and a body shot to Horn’s straight right.
- Third Minute-Horn lands a lunging sneaky left short uppercut. Pac lands a counter right.
Round to Pac 39-37, Pac
- First minute-Horn moving forward and landing, backing Pac up, landing both high and low.
- Second minute- Horn lands a nice right cross. Pac not doing much, looking to counter. A few cinches, the ref yells “hands free” Horn punches, Pac doesn’t. Both land left hooks to close out the minute.
- Third minute-Pac lands several solid punches. Horn scores on a few but Pac was sharper and his defense led to missed punches.
Round to Pac 49-46
- First minute- Horn backs Pac to the ropes, lands a solid uppercut, a few scoring body shots, most other punches blocked by Pac’s high guard,
- Second minute- Not a lot of action, both are landing, Pac with the cleaner sharper counters.
- Third minute-Horn lands a few punchs to start the last-minute and is the aggressor moving forward forcing the action. Horn lands a straight right right on Pac’s chin at 33 seconds left in the round that gets the champion’s attention.
Round to Horn 58-56 Pac
- First minute- Several lefts by Pac to take this minute, Horn didn’t land much.
- Second minute- Horn lands the better punches in this frame to go with active movement.
- Third minute- Very close last minute… slight edge to Horn winning him the round
Round to Horn 67-66 Pac
- First minute- Pac lands the cleaner punches and has the better movement.
- Second minute- Not a lot by either, even minute.
- Third minute- A Pac Man left is the best punch of the minute to go with a few even exchanges.
Round to Pac 77-75 Pac
- First minute- Horn opens up the round backing Pac to the ropes and lands a few scoring shots. Pac lands a counter left.
- Second minute- Pac lands several hard punches and has Horn stunned. Horn manges to land one good counter right as is forced to keep Pac off of him.
- Third minute- Horn fights defensively as Pac lands several more punches and has Horn reeling to the bell.
Round to Pac 87-84 Pac
(Note: There were some that argued that this could have been scored a 10-8 round, with some scoring it that way. Disagrrement here, as Horn was competative to start the round and landed a solid shot on PAC as he was being walked down. Pac missed a lot of punches in the final minute which was a credit to Horn’s movement and defense while hurt)
- First minute- Horn comes out agressive while holding and hitting. About even the rest of the way. Horn’s movement backs up Pac.
- Second minute- Not a lot here, both fighters missing punches, even minute,
- Third minute- Horn backing Pac up, both landing. Horn takes over, better movement, landing jabs, straight right.
Round to Horn 96-94 Pac
- First minute- Horn the aggressor again, backing up Pac. Horn is landing more punches with Pac landing one good punch the entire minute.
- Second minute- Very close, edge to Pac for the cleaner punches.
- Third minute- Even
Round to Horn 105-104 Pac
- First minute- Horn starts the round backing Pac to the ropes and lands punches, that are mostly blocked. Even the rest of the way.
- Second minute- Many exchanges and landed punches, edge to Pac for scoring the cleaner sharper punches and raking Horn to the body with a flurry.
- Third minute- More exchanges, Pac again, the sharper puncher.
Round to Pac, 115-113 Pac
After a thorough review, we still have Pacquiao as the winner. We believed this was a very close fight while watching the fight live and nothing changed in our minute by minute review if only to reinforce that fact.
A draw or slight edge to Horn would not have been out of the question if one favored his body of work in the close rounds.
Horn did outperform and exceed expectations from the opening bell. Was exceeding expectations enough to take the title from incumbent Manny Pacquiao? Apparently so; however, not on our score card or that of many others.
There have been worse calls in boxing and this was far from corruption, but damn it if Pacquiao isn’t always in the center of things.
As the adage goes…In order to take the champion’s title, you must beat the champion…. we did not feel that was the case here.