Manny Pacquiao losses to Horn: The REAL reason whyWritten by Lee Cleveland
Shocker? Not exactly.
Fight legend Manny Pacquiao lost a highly debatable decision last night to Australia's Jeff Horn in the latter's hometown of Brisbane and in front of 51,000 plus spectators.
Many are calling it a robbery but I've seen worse. I had Pacquiao winning, but heading into the final round I thought to myself, "If I'm trainer Roach, this is a little too close for comfort."
Although punchstats showed Manny dominated, they don't accurately reflect the fight's tone. Yes, Manny deserved to win but he didn't dominate. He unleashed beat-downs Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri but that wasn't the case last night.
He wasn't dominant last night nor did he fight well. In fact, it was the worst Manny Pacquiao I've seen.
So, let's address the real reason Manny Pacquiao lost. Although most of us disagree with the judges, it wasn't necessarily biased judging and certainly not corruption that led to Manny's defeat. Moreover, it might not be Pacquiao's age. Yes, he's 38 but hadn't shown signs of slowing prior to last night.
Manny lost because serving two masters, boxing and the Senate, finally caught up with him. Fighting at the elite level takes full commitment, and it's a wonder he stayed on top this long.
Fact: Had Pacquiao kicked a*# last night, he would have won on the cards by a mile. Unfortunately, we didn't see the great PacMan in the ring yesterday. He must have missed his flight to Australia. Instead, we saw 'Senator Pacquiao.'
The senator showed up in place of the fighter.
We called it (almost)... last fall
In fact, FightSaga suggested last fall that the Senate would bring about Manny's untimely demise. Of course, I thought it would happen in the Vargas fight. I also stated that, victorious or not against Vargas, it was difficult to see Pacquiao thriving much longer.
He's a senator first and a prizefighter second - And that's a problem if he wants to continue fighting.
Pacquiao vs Horn: There were signs early on
“We are far behind. Those five rounds of sparring were the worst I have seen him spar,” trainer Freddie Roach told the Manila Times in May.
... And warnings
"I don't know if Manny Pacquiao can continue to manage his career in the Senate with his career in boxing," the Top Rank CEO admitted to FightHype.com last September. "For me, it maybe seems like it's too much. But I don't know...Manny has a lot of energy, and we're going to see."
Even for a fighter with Manny's skills and experience, success on this level requires special dedication. Pacquiao looked decent against Jessie Vargas last fall but the Senate is now taking a heavy toll. Keep in mind, his current position is more demanding than was his previous role as a congressman.
What many who have never boxed don't realize is that on the elite level, a fighter not only has to dedicate the hours in the gym, he must be focused mentally and have the right mindset to train and fight.
... And you can't be focused when you're training in the gym but thinking about drafting, editing, supporting or rejecting a piece of legislation. A professional fighter, especially at the top level, must be mentally prepared.
Sure, Manny can still easily get his body in shape. But getting in 'boxing' shape is entirely different because that involves coordination, strategy, desire and mental preparation and focus.
Pacquiao vs Horn 2, Crawford and Garcia
Should there be a rematch, Manny would probably win (again) and find favor with the judges the second time around. However, as a Pacquiao fan, I don't want to see the version of Manny we saw last night face Terence Crawford or Mikey Garcia.
That would be sad.
Manny, even a legend like yourself you can't serve two masters.
... And last night's performance is proof. You deserved to win but you really didn't beat Jeff Horn.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.