BRISBANE, Australia — Manny Pacquiao accepts the judges decision proclaiming Jeff Horn as the new World Boxing Organization welterweight champion.
But deep within him, the 11-time world champion knew he did everything to win their 12-round slugfest Sunday afternoon at the Suncorp Stadium here.
"I thought I won the fight," Pacquiao, 38, said when the biggest boxing event in the history of Australia was over. "But that's boxing."
Pacquiao had welt marks on his face and received at least 14 stitches to close the cuts on both sides of his head due to accidental clashes of heads, proof of the brutal encounter he had to endure against his bigger, heavier and younger opponent.
Yet the boxing superstar still believed he did enough to win the match.
The three judges saw it otherwise, scoring it 115-113, 115-113, and 117-111.
"The decision of the judges, I respect that," said Pacquiao, a 4-1 favorite prior to the fight, shortly after the major upset was announced.
The fight contract had a rematch clause and Pacquiao, also a Philippine senator, is very much open to facing anew his latest conqueror.
"Walang problema sa akin ang rematch," said the ring legend, hinting he still plans to keep on fighting.
After being stitched, Pacquiao skipped attending the post-fight press conference and went straight to his suite at the Sofitel hotel.
After a simple dinner of beef, rice and mushroom soup, Pacquiao attended a thanksgiving fellowship and Bible service.
Pacquiao and his entourage will travel back to General Santos City on Monday afternoon.