JEFF Horn surely enjoyed the ride in downtown Brisbane as a ticker tape parade was held to honor Australia’s new boxing hero on Thursday.
The parade was but a formal affirmation of his status as the new World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion.
Just a few hours before the parade at Brisbane’s Central Business District, the boxing body ruled with finality it won’t reverse, or even review, the dispute outcome of Sunday’s title fight that had Horn pulling off a unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao.
WBO president Paco Valcarcel posted on his Twitter account @PacoValcarcel that the organization is not inclined to take a second look at how the judges and the referee worked the 12-round bout held before a roaring crowd of 51,052 at the Suncorp Stadium.
“The discretion of a referee or judge cannot be reversed, except in a case of fraud or violation of laws which is not the case in Pac vs. Horn,” said Valcarcel.
The WBO on its own Twitter account @WorldBoxingOrg also carried the same statement of its long-time head from Puerto Rico.
Valcarcel made the stand after the Games and Amusement and Board (GAB) formally wrote the WBO requesting a review of the fight following the storm of criticism that met the decision.
The 38-year-old Filipino senator himself endorsed the letter of GAB chairman Abraham Mitra since as ‘a leader and at the same time, a fighter, I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth, and fairness in the eyes of the public.’
The WBO did review a previous Pacquiao fight following his controversial split decision loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. in a similar welterweight title bout five years ago.
A five-man panel was tapped to watch and score the fight without the benefit of an audio, and came out with a unanimous decision that the boxing legend from the Philippines was the clear winner. The outcome though, wasn’t overturned and instead, a rematch was held two years later in which Pacquiao regained his title belt.
Valcarcel suggested for both the Pacquiao and Horn camps to do the same thing, especially since there’s a provision in the contract stipulating a rematch.
“The contract for Pac vs Horn provides a rematch clause which the WBO is in accordance, if the promoters decide to move forward,” he added.
Pacquiao was vocal in saying he’s ready for a rematch, which Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who handles both Pacquiao and Horn, said he’ll try to make if the Filipino is willing to do it.
For the moment, Horn savors the warm love and embrace of his fellow Aussie as he relishes his first ever career ticker tape parade.