BRISBANE, Australia - Jeff Horn showed Manny Pacquiao's best days are behind him by scoring a major upset in a good, old-fashioned brawl to wrest the Filipino boxing hero's World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.
The 29-year-old Australian roughed up and bullied the 38-year-old Filipino for 12 rounds and won by scores of 117-111 (Waleska Roldan), 115-113 (Chris Flores), and 115-113 (Ramon Cerdan) before a roaring hometown crowd at the Suncorp Stadium here.
Horn was the younger and bigger fighter, and it showed for the entire bout fought in a makeshift ring built in the middle of a football field that drew a record crowd of 51,052.
Pacquiao found it hard sizing up his Australian opponent and didn' t really got going until the latter part of the action-packed sluggest on a sunny Sunday.
The boxing great actually had the young Australian in trouble during the ninth round when he kept the pressure on Horn by swarming all over the fast-fading challenger.
But after getting a warning from referee Mark Nelson during the one-minute break about the fight being stopped should Horn fail to show he still has it, the unbeaten Aussie finished the last three rounds in flurry, including winning the 12th round in all of the judges' scorecards.
"My heart just kept me going," said Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) during the post-fight press conference, a huge big welt just under his right eye very obvious even from afar. "He got me with a couple of good shots and I did get probably more in that round than in any other rounds before.
"But i came back in the 10th, 11th, and the 12th."
Horn, who reached as far as the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Olympics, said he was more than willing to give the former champ a rematch.
"I do welcome it," he said in an interview done in the middle of the ring.
Pacquiao was bloodied - caused by two cuts on each side of the head - but unbowed. He was gracious in defeat though, saying he has no complaints on the judges scorecards.
"The decision of the judges, I respect that," said Pacquiao to the wild applause of the predominantly Aussie crowd.
"It's a very tough (fight) but it's part of the game."
Asked on his take about a rematch, Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) quickly replied, "absolutely."