Pacquiao camp points fingers after Horn loss
BOXING: It started with the judges, now Team Pacquiao are pointing fingers at members of their own camp.
The Filipino's trainer Freddie Roach was disgusted the officials handed Jeff Horn a unanimous points victory on Sunday. He wasn't the only one who felt that way with many overseas observers condemning the decision.
But before Roach continues pointing the finger he should look in the mirror when searching for a reason why his pupil left Suncorp Stadium without the welterweight strap. That's the message from Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum.
Arum believes the referee was at fault for allowing Horn too many punches in the clinch, but says Roach failed in his responsibility to step in and question the Aussie's tactics. He also blamed Pacquiao's disorganised corner for creating a shambolic environment during the fight.
"What the hell is wrong with that corner? Why wasn't Freddie Roach out in the ring between rounds yelling at the referee? It's his job,” Arum told the Los Angeles Times.
"And there's confusion in the corner with the languages, with (assistant trainer) Buboy (Fernandez) and (cut man) Miguel Diaz yelling and screaming like a maniac.
"And Freddie has to stay close to Manny to give him some advice.
"To me, they were so overconfident going in. (Conditioning coach) Justin Fortune tells the press that the only way Horn can win is if Manny trips going into the ring.
"I had seen the kid. I told everybody he was a big, tough kid who could take a punch. I didn't think he'd beat Manny, but it wasn't the same Manny.”
Pacquiao's manager Michael Koncz told the LA Times the camp's relaxed approach to what it assumed would be an easy victory came back to haunt the 11-time world champion.
"The corner didn't have a strategy. They were all amazed Jeff Horn was such a tough, rugged fighter and they didn't adapt to it,” Koncz said.
"There's a lot of blame to go around but the bottom line is the kid had a lot of heart and came to win and did everything he could to get it, and the referee let him do more than he should have.”
Horn stunned a shell-shocked Pacquiao in the opening rounds, letting his hands go as the elder fighter took time to adjust to the early onslaught.
It was a massive statement from Horn.
Aussie boxing legend Danny Green lauded the Queenslander for being "so disrespectful to Pacquiao” in the early stages of the bout by refusing to be overawed by his reputation.
Perhaps it was a form of retaliation to the disrespect Pacquiao showed Horn in the days leading up to the fight. The 38-year-old played on his phone during a press conference and even forgot Horn's name, simply referring to him as that "Aussie guy” at one stage.
He certainly knows Horn's name now, and post-fight agreed to a rematch. But Arum said a second clash isn't necessarily a done deal because the ageing superstar is clearly an ailing force in the ring.
"First, I have to find out if Manny wants to continue fighting,” Arum said. "There were some troubling signs.
"I said sitting there ringside. This is not the Manny Pacquiao that we had even a year ago.
" You can't be a senator and fight part-time. And he's getting older, not younger.”
Koncz said he was unsure if a rematch would take place. But if the two square off again, he promised things will be a lot different to what they were at Suncorp.
"We're not sure he's ever going to fight again,” Koncz said. "I told Manny before the fight that if things didn't happen, we would sit down and make decisions on what we need to do.
"If we go back to Australia, I'll be more involved with the promotion and the selection of the judges and referee.
"I relied heavily on the WBO. Everybody can be blamed for everything for this. If we do have a rematch, there's got to be a lot of changes.”