GAB seeks WBO review of Pacquiao-Horn fight

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 4) — The country's Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has asked the World Boxing Organization (WBO) to review the welterweight world title match between Manny Pacquiao and Australian Jeff Horn.

In the letter sent to the WBO dated July 3, the Games and Amusement Board asked WBO President Francisco Valcarce for a "thorough review" of possible miscalls by officials during the match in Brisbane on July 2.

"While we respect the decision, we are constrained to request for a thorough review by the WBO for possible miscalls of the referee where some deductions were not made and of the judges in their judging that have caused varying opinions on their objectivity," the GAB said in a statement on Tuesday, quoting its letter.

The GAB regulates and supervises professional sports in the Philippines.

Horn, who was tagged as an underdog against eight-division world boxing champion Pacquiao, won the WBO welterweight belt via unanimous decision in the 12-round "Battle of Brisbane" in Australia on Sunday.

Horn outpointed Pacquiao 117-111, 115-113, 115-113, although punching statistics show Pacquiao landed more accurate shots than his contender.

READ: Undefeated Horn stuns Pacquiao to claim WBO welterweight title

The decision has drawn criticism from fans of the Filipino boxing icon, as well as several international athletes, and boxing analysts who expressed dismay on social media and sports commentaries over the match's results.

It said the GAB Board had watched Pacquiao's fight in Australia, and decided to seek the review after hearing the sentiments of other boxing fans.

"We would like to echo the stand of many boxing followers on the possible errors of the referee and the judges who officiated the subject fight," it added.

The Games and Amusement Board clarified the request did not necessarily call for the reversal of the decision, but asked the WBO to identify possible errors of judgement by the officials to help protect the integrity of the sport and improve the boxing industry.

The GAB started operations in 1951 and regulates and supervises the operations and conduct of professional sports and other allied activities in the Philippines.

Pacquiao has sought to create a separate Philippine Boxing Commission outside GAB's jurisdiction, and last January 24 filed the "Philippine Boxing Commission Act of 2017."

Pacquiao: Judges, referee too lenient

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday, Pacquiao admitted while he has accepted Horn's win, he was disappointed with the judges and officials during the match.

"Rinerespeto ko naman yung decision ng mga judges, pero kumbaga may question pa rin na hoping na makapagbigay ng leksyon ito sa boxing dahil makakasira ito ng imahe ng sport," he said.

[Translation: I respect the judges' decision but there are still questions, and I hope this will give a lesson to the boxing community, because it may ruin the sport's image.]

He added, having so many people doubting the judges' decision could deal a blow to the boxing industry.

"Alam mo di lang naman ako ang nagduda dun sa desisyon ng mga hurado kung di-- hindi lang iilan na mga fans, kundi marami, almost lahat ng fans nagrereklamo, so yan siguro na sitwasyon ay kailangan alam nila yan dahil makaapekto talaga, malaki epekto sa boxing," he said.

[Translation: You know I'm not the only one who has doubts about the judges' decision. It's not just a few fans but a lot. Almost all fans are complaining so maybe they should be aware of this situation because it really will, it has a big effect on boxing.]

In an earlier Reuters report, the champion boxer also said he thought the referee was too lenient and let Horn get away with too many missed calls.

In the same report, Pacquiao, who arrived in his hometown of General Santos on Monday, said he is open to a possible rematch with Horn but will concentrate on his duties as a Senator for now.

Newly-minted WBO World Champion Welterweight Jeff Horn, meanwhile, has brushed aside criticism of his win.

"There's always naysayers saying I didn't win the fight. I think I won the fight, a lot of Queenslanders think I won the fight and people around the world. So you will always have the select few that are against you," he was quoted saying in a Reuters report on Monday.

Horn, however, said he would be up for a rematch against Pacquiao and praised the boxing legend's contributions to the sport.

"Manny Pacquiao is an absolute warrior, he's a legend of this sport. He might have come in underdone, if we have a rematch, if he puts it all in, I don't know," he said.