To The Aggressor Go The Spoils

In what would have been an otherwise overlooked fight between the aging legend of Manny Pacquaio and Australian school teacher, Jeff Horn, the latter took a win. That win however, has become subject to much criticism, due to Pacquaio landing more punches than Horn, something that could be less apparent to judges who do not have access to the benefits of modern technology (another subject for another day), and many believing that Pacquaio not only did enough to retain his WBO Title, but also felt that Horn didn’t do enough to win the match at all.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in boxing, unfortunately it happened to Manny Pacquaio when he lost to Timothy Bradley in 2012. In yet another controversial decision, this one split, Bradley defeated Pac-Man, landing less punches but throwing 88 more total punches. As compared to the Jeff Horn decision, Horn threw 48 more punches than Pacquaio, setting the tone for aggressiveness out of his corner, out punching the vaunted puncher. (Numbers via Compubox)

It’s not like Manny himself hasn’t been the recipient of controversial decisions, the most obvious that come to mine are the Marquez decisions. Where in the first fight Pacquaio threw more punches, but landed much less successfully and totaled less punches landed as well. After the second fight, a decision that went to Pacquaio, the totals were, 330-303, total landed punches, 252-214 power punches(numbers via landed both in favor of Marquez, both matches finding Manny Pacquaio as the winner because he initiated the fight.

Does the decision suck, kinda. But the fact is this is nothing new, and Pacquaio has been the benefactor of such bogus decisions in the past. We know as boxing fans, people who know and love the sport, that if the “Knockout” artist doesn’t score the KO, then there is room for debate. Jeff Horn won because he withstood every punch Manny landed. He took Pac-man’s best shot and still kept walking him down for most of the match! No one in their right ming, had a school teacher listing passed the 8th round and everyone was putting their money on Pacquaio, (those were the people who were the angriest) and this man, this Cinderella story, was able to go toe to toe with a legend and win. All but two or three of those rounds were clear cut winners, Pacquaio landing almost 1/3 of his total punches (60 of 182) in those three rounds. The knockout hitter getting out thrown and landed in power punches at an 8/6 clip, isn’t going to win a fight. (Numbers by compubox)

There was the argument brought up “If the aggressor wins the fight, then Mayweather would have never won a fight!” (read that in the most ridiculous voice you can imagine). Reason why that is invalid is we are talking about two punchers, when a defensive fighter loses to the aggressive fighter, the reason is simple, the aggressor didn’t hit the defensive fighter and probably got tagged with some counter punches.

When judging a boxing match it is done round by round, when two aggressive fighters go head to head, and a knock out isn’t reached, the judges have to go on the side of the boxer who initiated the fight, lets not forget that. When people want punches landed to count as the end all be all of judging, they need to take into consideration, that rule does not apply unless it’s two technical or defensive fighters where loads of punches are not thrown.

Agree with it or not, that’s how it is done.

To me what Boxing should to is use both computers and what they see in order to give the best decision. Boxing didn’t lose any fans, boxing is used to this, those overreacting to this one decision, haven’t payed attention to the sport in a while or refuse to realize these decisions are not always so cut and dry. There are more and more examples of the “Aggressor” getting the win even though they were hit more, I just don’t want to give a long list, perhaps thats a story for another time?

Until then, the clear winner is always the fighter who has the belt.

Categories: Boxing, Opinion

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