Brisbane - The World Boxing Organisation has said it will review the
scoring of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight title bout after the
Philippine world champion's shock loss, but the verdict will stand.
The WBO announced the move on its website after Pacquiao,
backed by the Philippine government's sports regulatory body, criticised the
referee and the judges and demanded a review.
The Filipino regulator, the Games and Amusements Board, has
also called for potential sanctions on the referee and judges of the July 2
Brisbane bout if warranted.
"The purpose of this review is to be able to give the
fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout," WBO president Francisco
Valcarcel wrote to the Filipino regulator on Wednesday.
The WBO is to appoint five "anonymous competent judges
from different countries to watch the bout without sound distraction" then
tabulate their round-by-round scoring.
However Valcarcel stressed the WBO did not have the power to
reverse the decision of the fight judges.
"The decision of an official should only be revoked
when fraud or violations of the law occur. I assure you that the officials who
participated in this fight are all professional, distinguished, honest and
honourable human beings," he added.
He urged the Filipino body to give evidence of fraud or
violation of the law, if any, to the Australian National Boxing Federation and
Both the Filipino board and Pacquiao had criticised American
referee Mark Nelson for supposedly allowing the rank-underdog Australian to get
away with illegal tactics without giving him warnings or point deductions.
The loss sparked calls in the Philippines for the 38-year-old
Pacquiao, a national icon after rising from poverty to win an unprecedented
eight world titles in different weight classes, to retire and concentrate on
Pacquiao's wife, Jinkee, and his trainer, Freddie Roach, had
said they would advise him to quit boxing.
Pacquiao briefly retired from boxing last year to pursue his
long-held political ambitions and was elected senator. But he quickly made a
successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, saying he still felt
like a youngster.
Pacquiao told a Manila television station a day after the
bout that he will "think hard" about retiring.
The Filipino regulator and Pacquiao's camp did not
immediately respond to requests for comment on the WBO announcement.