Why Jeff Horn’s Win Could Turn Into A Loss

By Paul Magno on July 5, 2017
Why Jeff Horn’s Win Could Turn Into A Loss
It’s clear to see that Horn’s biggest night could easily be a curse disguised as a blessing.

Nearly toppling a legend, on ESPN no less, could’ve set him up for life, rather than setting him up for one big score and a brutal fall from grace…

Jeff Horn might’ve been better off with a loss last Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao.

With a loss for “The Hornet,” the story would’ve been his tough, gritty performance and the miracle of an unheralded, unknown battler nearly upsetting a legend on live TV. The media would’ve gushed over the story of a hometown hero defying all odds and taking a future Hall of Famer deep into bloody battle.

Instead, the lead story after Saturday night was a screw job hometown decision. Horn’s Rocky Balboa-like performance was lost amid the buzz of outrage and, even among those giving him his proper credit for his against-all-odds effort, the take-away was the perception that Pacquiao had been cheated.

A loss wouldn’t have taken anything away from Horn and, as a matter of fact, it would’ve given him career options that are no longer possible now that he’s a world champ and tied to a Pacquiao rematch (or two).

With that WBO welterweight belt around his waist, along with the perception that he’s a soft touch, Horn is a walking target. Even if he doesn’t get set up for a fall in a Pacquiao rematch, there will be too much money out there to resist making him somebody’s easy title win. If Pacquiao isn’t given first crack at making him a zero defense champ, Horn co-promoter Bob Arum will surely guide fellow Top Rank fighters Terence Crawford or Timothy Bradley towards that paper title win in front of another 55,000 in Brisbane. Meanwhile, across the great boxing business divide, all of Al Haymon’s welterweight crew—from Errol Spence and Keith Thurman to Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter—will be rattling cages to get their hands on the guy who took Manny’s belt for a perceived low risk-high reward bout. Spence, as a matter of fact, has already called Horn out.

If Horn had not been given the controversial unanimous decision win, he could’ve made some solid money as the hometown hero against a much lesser level of opposition over a much longer period of time. Nearly toppling a legend, on ESPN no less, could’ve set him up for life, rather than setting him up for one big score and a brutal fall from grace. Even Sylvester Stallone, when writing the screenplay for Rocky, had the good sense to have the plucky hero lose in the main event so as to facilitate a sequel.

And while dealing with limited career choices, Horn will now not only have to deal with the media’s fixation on the controversial nature of his victory, but also with the raging tidal wave that is Manny Pacquiao fandom. A screw job against Manny is sure to stir up the hornet’s nest (no pun intended) of Pacland and flood Horn and his entire team (and family) with nothing but online nastiness for the rest of their days.

For those who think that angry Pacland trolls are of little concern in the grand scheme of things, just ask Timothy Bradley, who was similarly the recipient of a gift win over Pacquiao back in 2012.

The persistent nastiness brought on by scores of rabid Pacquiao fans with nothing better to do than lash out at the fighter, brought misery to Bradley and nearly pushed him into a deep depression.

“Did I consider suicide? Hell, yeah,” Bradley told the UK’s Daily Mail. “I would be sitting in bed with my wife thinking about what people were saying and writing about me and I was thinking ‘not only I don’t want to box anymore—I don’t even want to live anymore. This sucks. It’s not worth it’.”

Actually, the attacks on Horn have already begun, with Horn and his pregnant wife being targeted by angry Pacquiao fans eager to exact some sort of revenge for the “crime” against their hero. If history plays out true to form, the nastiness will get worse.

There’s a chance, however, that Horn may be somewhat spared from the Pacland onslaught. Pacquiao is not the star he once was and his following isn’t the cult-like mob it used to be. The general consensus opinion is that Pacquiao was on his way out the door, anyway. Unlike in the 2012 fiasco with Bradley, there’s no feeling this time around that this loss is ruining Manny’s plans for big things in the future. Also, Horn’s apparent plans to remain at home in Australia will insulate him somewhat from abuse.

But, still, even if all of the abuse is considerably less than what Bradley got, how do you not feel the slings and arrows of an angry and/or dismissive worldwide online mob?

Combine the internet piranha attacks with a career course that is now aimed at either turning him into a manufactured rival for Manny Pacquiao or a paid fall guy and it’s clear to see that Horn’s biggest night could easily be a curse disguised as a blessing.

Of course, Horn could always flip the script and assert his legitimacy as a world titlist. Every fighter, to varying degrees, has a fighting chance of doing that. But the real world isn’t a Rocky movie. Rarely is the plucky, tough, under-skilled, underdog treated as anything other than a more-valuable-than-before patsy to be fed to more reliable money fighters.

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  1. nicolas 10:05am, 07/08/2017

    That this is a setback for Horn in the long run, I disagree. This is not Leon Spinks winning the heavyweight title back in the United States. This is Jeff Horn, an Australian, winning a world title in Australia, a country that did not have a world champion at this time, winning before 55,000 people. Being generous to Horn, I could have had the fight a draw. More curious about the judges though, the scores after nine rounds were 6-3, 6-3, 5-4 for Horn. Then among those judges, the last three were 3-0, 2-1, 1-2 for Horn. Curious also when the referee went over to Horn after nine rounds and warned him that he might stop the fight. Horn seemed to be galvanized after that, perhaps the ref helped him, but that Pacquiao could not close the show shows his deterioration. Finally to call Horn World Champion in the Welterweight division is ludicrous, when you have Keith Thurman and Errol Spence, but it was also ludicrous to call Manny Pacquiao the same. After the Mayweather loss who did he fight. Tim Bradley who he had beaten. the fighter that Bradley beat, and finally Jeff Horn. He wasn’t fighting Spence, Thurman, or even the fighters that they defeated in close matches. Horn can also make a lot of money in one big fight with Manny, then he probably could in a lot of little fights in Australia. Horn could even give up the title, and get some fights and make a lot of money. This really is a win win situation for Horn.

  2. maxzie 07:05pm, 07/07/2017

    Well, I guess it’s time to change the rule. If somebody doesn’t deserve.that belt, they have to take it back!  Sounds reasonable to me. What are these sanctioning.bodies and boxing commissions for? I know it’s not that easy, but it can be done… if you want to preserve honor and integrity in the sport of boxing.

  3. procopy 01:40am, 07/07/2017

    The fight was quite close but I think Pac should be the winner. But he looked quite bad though especially in the earlier rounds. I agree that this win may do more harm the good against Horn. Those aforementioned fighters will surely chase his belt. They may say that he’s the real winner against Pac in order to give him more confidence and then proceed to kick his ass on the fight night. If an aged fighter with somewhat less than half of his former power and speed can turn him into a bloody mess, imagine how much damaged will he suffer against prime top class welters. A kangaroo might have a better fighting chance against the likes of Thurman and Crawford.

  4. tuxtucis 10:07am, 07/06/2017

    After the even worse Kimweri-Petalcorin the past year another awful verdict from Down Under…

  5. Ted Sares 07:50am, 07/06/2017

    Pete, it’s me. Kid Blast

  6. Pete The Sneak 04:08am, 07/06/2017

    Irish Frankie, right on my friend….Toro, is that you really lurking?  C’mon home brother…Peace.

  7. Carlos Torres 09:31pm, 07/05/2017

    Horn is a difficult fighter to score because he is very aggressive and ackward as well. Having taken a second look at the fight the cleaner punches were definitely landed by Pacquiao. I scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao.

  8. Mon 07:45pm, 07/05/2017

    Horn failed to buil his credibility as a future boxer you are a reciepient of roberry you do not deserve your title , you know it in your own heart, your family knows it you can not deny in eyes of many people, youve got to be honest with yourself for your career and family.

  9. Ted Sares 06:34pm, 07/05/2017

    iRISH, I am lurking

  10. Ronin J 06:33pm, 07/05/2017

    @Paul Magno, sad to hear you had to go through such things for voicing your opinion. Equally sad is the fact that Manny embodies fair play and entertaining fans when some of his fans do the complete opposite. I am one of the minorities that would not mind Manny fighting softies for the sake of him extending his exhibition of clean fighting skills and plain nostalgia for the Manny of old. Instead of enjoying his last fights before he rides off to the sunset, we are being treated with judging controversies and vile fans that are the true blackeye of the sport. I think the trolls/juveniles of Pacland (website) have left or have been chased off by more reasonable members.

  11. PACMANUSA 06:24pm, 07/05/2017

    Those who said it are quite correct the judges are from the USA and Argentina I believe . The referee also is from the USA . That however is no excuse for ineptness on all four their parts . I still fail to see how a guy who connected half as much and who head butted , constantly clenched/headlocked , elbowed and rabbit punched was given the decision . And worse yet was never given ANY warnings for his obvious unfair behavior . I’m a white American so don’t drop the you’re a Filipino stuff on me . Horn fought dirty , the referee might as well not been there , the judges must need new glasses or as that asshole Teddy Atlas said Are in on the payoff . Anyone with ANY semblance of reality in boxing KNOWS Pacquiao was robbed in the first fight with Bradley and he was robbed again in this fight with the guy from a country started as a British penal colony . I truely hope there’s a rematch and Pacquiao knocks this BUMM out cold .

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:06pm, 07/05/2017

    The writing here is really starting to sizzle….all we need now is for Ted Sares to come back and everyone will have to up their game here for sure….. on Boxing.com which already has the best boxing writing on the internet!

  13. Your Name 05:47pm, 07/05/2017

    Christ, the PacTards have attacked this thread with a vengeance. All new names. What a bunch of rump swabs.

  14. dennis angara 05:44pm, 07/05/2017

    Yes, your right Mr. John Higgins, and to all boxing fans all over the world, you have seen how this villain Horn used every dirty tricks to upset MP, but if you see the slow mo of the fight, some punches of Horn did not find the target, most of them just winds, he used his head, elbows and rubbing his gloves to the wounds of MP coz by his headbutting. HOW DIRTY THIS FIGHTER. HE WILL NOT LAST TO THE WBC, IBF CHAMPION.

  15. Paul Magno 04:58pm, 07/05/2017

    @Ronin….Yep…I learned from first hand experience back in the day…had to lock down my social media accounts, remove picture of loved ones, close down comment sections…because the Pacland folks were beyond aggressive when it came to lashing out at anyone who did “wrong” to Manny….Of course, none of that stopped me from doing what I do…but, I can totally see how someone would NOT want to deal with all that crap…

  16. Jonn Higgins 03:41pm, 07/05/2017

    Horn used his horns to headbutt Mr. Pacquiao. He laced his gloves on the Pacquiao’s wounds. He used his elbows. He rabbit punched. He was lauded by his countrymen for these. Don’t ever go to Australia, my friend adviced, you might get robbed in broad daylight.

  17. Kid 03:07pm, 07/05/2017

    Yes Horn is an evil and dirty villain. WTF

  18. Ronin J 02:45pm, 07/05/2017

    Speaking from experience, Paul Magno? If I remember it right, it is not only Timothy Bradley who was a receipient of Pacfandom trolling. It included you because of an unpopular opinion. I felt for you and TM. And now Jeff Horn. This is a small percentage of Pacfans ruling the interwebs.I know because I am a rational Pacquiao fan.

  19. Funky 02:39pm, 07/05/2017

    It keeps being called a hometown screw job - but none of the judges were Australian?

  20. Martin Donovan 02:10pm, 07/05/2017

    Horn is an MMA fighter. He uses his head and elbow. He is not a champion but a villain. This is worse than the Bradley heist.

  21. Arnold Hubert 01:38pm, 07/05/2017

    Horn is being cheered in Australia but being derided all over the world. He is percieved as a cheater and a dirty fighter. It is better for him to fight in Australia away from the angry fans not satisfied with the verdict. I think he won’t go far. One lost after the Pacquiao fight will relegate him to oblivion.

  22. Kid 11:36am, 07/05/2017

    It’s not Horn; it’s the judges.

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