Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Pacquiao backs GAB call for review, but WBO dismisses matter

Photo by Wendell Alinea / OSMP

SYDNEY, Australia – Manny Pacquiao has backed the Games and Amusements Board’s call for a “thorough review” of the judging and officiating in his disputed points loss to Jeff Horn this past weekend in Brisbane, Australia.

The letter, issued on July 3 by the professional boxing regulatory body in the Philippines, writes to the WBO  “to echo the stand of many boxing followers on the possible errors of the referee and the judges who officiated the subject fight.

While we respect the decision, we are constrained to request for a thorough review by the WBO for possible miscalls of the referee where some deductions were not made and of the judges in their judging that have caused varying opinions on their objectivity.

“We are making this request for a review, which may call for sanctions on the referee if so warranted, in furtherance of our mutual goal of protecting the integrity of the sport and even more improving the boxing industry we all love.”

Pacquiao’s office on Wednesday issued its own statement, saying, “WBO should take appropriate action on the letter sent by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) so as not to erode the people’s interest in boxing.

“On my part, I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public. I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating.”

WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel took to Twitter to address the matter, shooting down any calls for a review.

“The discretion of a referee or judge cannot be reversed, except in a case of fraud or violation of laws which is not the case in Pac vs Horn,” Valcarcel tweeted.

“The contract for Pac vs Horn provides a rematch clause, which the WBO is in accordance if the promoters decide to move forward.”

The unanimous decision verdict was widely panned by boxing observers, with many boxers and most mainstream boxing reporters scoring the fight for Pacquiao. Pacquiao had said afterward that he’d exercise the rematch clause but has since said he’d “think hard” about retirement upon the urging of his trainer, Freddie Roach, and wife Jinkee.

RING Magazine Editor Michael Rosenthal and U.K. Correspondent Tom Gray discuss Pacquiao vs. Horn: