Sunday, July 2, 2017

Horn shocks Pacquiao-Boxing Challenge

In a shocker on national television in the return of elite boxing to ESPN from Brisbane,Australia,Jeff Horn gave a spirited and gritty performance and challenged Manny Pacquiao all night and gave him all he wanted.
The problem is that he didn't win and yet Horn,who was almost out on his feet in round nine,received the unanimous decision and the WBO welterweight title.

Remember when I talked about Andre Ward losing the narrative after his loss to Sergey Kovalev in their first fight because instead of getting deserved credit for showing heart and courage,he got heat for getting an undeserved decision?
That's exactly what happened tonight because instead of Jeff Horn earning credit for far exceeding expectations and giving Manny Pacquiao all he wanted,the narrative is Horn winning a fight that he shouldn't have been given.
I scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao and even if it was closer than the other famous fight that saw the Hamburglar arrive in a Pacquiao fight (1st fight vs Timothy Bradley,I scored that one 10-2),it still saw the wrong guy get the win.
Top Rank went for the bucks in having Pacquiao fight on the road and the crowd was a strong one.
What they forgot was that when you go to the hometown,some times you get a hometown decision.

Ramon Malpica and I earned no points for that,but we did get a point for the seventh round knockout in the co-feature by Jerwin Ancajas over Teiru Kinoshita to retain his IBF junior bantamweight title.
Ancajas is one of many exciting fighters and fits well in a loaded 115 pound division.
The challenge stands at 79-74.

As for the ESPN broadcast-there's some flaws.
I've always thought Joe Tessitore was a little overrated as the blow by blow announcer,but he's not terrible.
Teddy Atlas was a favorite of mine for years,but has become so shrill and almost insane with some of his out of control takes and Timothy Bradley was a nice fighter,but is bad at the broadcast table to the point of referring to Australia as "Argentina".
Atlas loves our sport,but needs to take things back about three notches.
The problem is that boxing doesn't have a large bench to move experienced announcers into place to take those spots,so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out.
That was nothing compared to the studio where the disinterested Steve Levy  worked with blowhard Stephen A.Smith,who rightfully railed against the decision for about an hour,but did it in a way that made me crave Advil.
Smith also spent time hitting boxing for not being UFC and how wonderful UFC is.
That's fine,but if I'm ESPN and Top Rank,I don't really want a guy on air talking about another product that my promotion or network has no involvement with being so much better than what we are putting on the air.
ESPN and Top Rank clearly has some decisions to make as this series rolls forward....

This could have been a great night for boxing,but instead it's just a controversial one...

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