Everybody who watched the fight last night had it as a comfortable victory for Manny Pacquiao but yet Jeff Horn was given the decision and one of the judges had him even winning by 117-111 although he was very close to being stopped.
The post fight reviews and analysis given by Teddy Atlas on ESPN summed it up, it’s either incompetence or corruption. For me it’s the latter, especially when Bob Arum and his organization are involved in promoting the event.
Their plan to promote Pacquiao across different countries against lesser opposition was a good retirement setup, milk their cash cow for as long as they can and promote him in this world tour setup. Given that he still is a good crowd drawer and has a religious following back home, this seemed like a good idea.
However, something seemed off in this entire approach, first of all, why fight an unknown fighter in Australia, when he could have fought somebody more credible with mass appeal. Secondly, there was a rematch clause associated with this fight (to be held in Australia again) so this could have also a played a part in the decision. Lastly Manny was closing in on retirement, and a loss here will force him to fight again now.
This situation is similar to that when Pacquiao first fought Tim Bradley. Bradley had just moved over to Top Rank, was handed his first huge payday to fight Pacquiao and gave a good account of himself, but clearly did not win. Back then, Top Rank’s stable of welterweight fighters was not the most extensive with Pacquiao running out of opponents so you could see that their plan was to have a trilogy from the beginning. Is this the same with Jeff Horn now – build up this unknown fighter, have a rematch and then a third fight with him?
The biggest fault of Pacquiao has been his choice in management and promotional company – compare that to Floyd Mayweather, who many see as on the similar level of popularity and attraction, has been managing himself and promoting his own events. So why hasn’t Pacquiao been doing this given his team. Is the issue that Manny constantly tries to break out of his contract and Bob Arum keeps pulling him back with cash guarantees against random opponents win, lose or draw. Manny’s reaction also at the end of the fight was also bizarre, he did not seem as surprised with the decision.
There’s a reason why so many of the top athletes leave Top Rank and their stable of fighters are diminishing – notable names recently like Mikey Garcia, Rigondeaux and then back to Oscar De La Hoya and even Floyd Mayweather himself. I can see Terrance Crawford at some point leaving as well.
Why is it that all major stars in the sport are associated with Al Haymon – even UFC’s Dana White called Bob Arum as the root of all evil. Basically apart from Pacquiao there has been no loyal fighter that stays with Top Rank’s stable.
Is Bob Arum losing the plot here or his he on the verge of retiring as well soon and trying to exploit his fighters so he can maximize on his earning. Something does not seem right in his corporation and the result of the fight last night proves it.