Manila - Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on
Wednesday urged the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) to review the "unfair
decision and officiating" after losing his welterweight title to
Australia's Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao endorsed a formal call by the Philippines' Games
and Amusement Board for the WBO to review the outcome of Sunday's fight in
"I love boxing and I don't wanna see it dying because
of unfair decision and officiating," Pacquiao, 38, said in a statement
issued by his office.
"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," said
Pacquiao, also a sitting senator.
In the twilight of a 22-year pro career in which he won
world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, Pacquiao had initially
called for a rematch, but later said he would also "think hard" about
Widely written off by observers, Horn, 29, shocked Pacquiao
with his ultra-aggressiveness to earn a unanimous 12-round decision.
A day after the bout, the Philippines' sports regulatory
body wrote the WBO calling for a "thorough review" on the decisions
of American referee Mark Nelson and the judges.
"We are making this request for a review, which may call
for sanctions on the referee and judges if so warranted, in furtherance of our
mutual goal of protecting the integrity of the sport," the board wrote.
Pacquiao attached a copy of the letter to his own statement.
"WBO should take appropriate action on the letter sent
by the Games and Amusement Board so as not to erode the people's interest in
boxing," Pacquiao said.
The WBO on Tuesday responded to the controversy in its
"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," the WBO said.
"The contract for Pac vs Horn provides a rematch
clause, which the WBO is in accordance (with) if the promoters decide to move
While saying he respected the fight outcome, Pacquiao had
questioned the referee's decisions and made disparaging comments about Horn.
"He's not really good but he's really strong,"
Pacquiao said of Horn on Monday, while the Filipino's camp criticised the
referee for supposedly allowing the undefeated Australian to get away with a
host of illegal tactics.
"The problem here is that the referee, I don't know if
he did it deliberately or he just did not have experience, he just allowed it
and did not even give any warning for how many times," Pacquiao said.
"It's as if the referee wanted to help my