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Aussie Boxer Jeff Horn Is World Champion, But Not Everyone Is Celebrating

'What did we just see? This is a horrible decision. Horrible.'

It's the ultimate Australian underdog success story, but not everyone is celebrating Jeff Horn's win over Filipino world champion Manny Pacquiao.

Horn was handed the unanimous victory on points after a close 12 rounds in their WBO welterweight match at Lang Park Stadium on Sunday, but claims of home-ground favouritism and dirty play are tainting the young Aussie's career-changing win.

A record crowd of more than 50,000 watched the Aussie take on the 11-time world champion Pacquiao at Lang Park on Sunday afternoon.

Horn won high praise from the Prime Minister for the "extraordinary win".

"What a great Australian Story. Congratulations -- Brisbane school teacher to world champion. Against all of the pundits, against all of the bookies, but he won," Malcolm Turnbull told reporters on Monday morning.

Going into the fight, pundits had given Horn little chance of matching it against the boxing legend and, post-match, many were still in a state of disbelief.

Leading American TV sports presenter for ESPN, Stephen A Smith, slammed the decision as "garbage", saying "What did we just see? This is a horrible decision. Horrible".

.@stephenasmith can't believe it.

— ESPN (@espn) July 2, 2017

And he wasn't the only one.

From the edge of the boxing ring on Sunday afternoon, sports commentator Teddy Atlas accused the local judges of deciding "to award the local kid for trying hard. You're not supposed to get it for trying hard, you're supposed to get it for winning!"

It seems a lot of fans were inclined to agree.

Horn's Facebook victory post proclaiming himself "the new WBO Welterweight Champion of the world" had attracted over 6,700 comments by Monday morning, many of them criticising Horn's "dirty" fighting tactics and suggesting he "robbed" Pacquiao. Some even suggested that Horn should hand over his victory belt to his competitor.

Horn came out defiant on Monday morning, telling the press and adoring fans on Monday morning "there will always be the naysayers" but "I felt like I won the fight".

"I think a lot of Queenslanders think I won the fight and people around the world. You will always have the select few that will be against you."

"Manny Pacquaio is an absolute warrior, a legend of the sport. He might have come undone in this fight, I don't know. I guess if we have a rematch and he put it is all in, he might come in better."

Pacquiao himself accepted the judges' decision -- although he didn't say whether he agreed with it. Wiping sweat and blood from his face post-fight, he told the TV cameras the young Aussie was tougher than he was expected.

Asked whether he thought Horn beat him, Pacquiao said "that's the decision of the judges, so I respect that."

Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach Justine Fortune was less gracious, labelling the judges' decision as "crazy".

"The referee was sketchy, the judges were crazy. Manny lost the fight, but Jeff Horn looks like a pumpkin. Those scores, that card? It should be the other way around," the former heavyweight boxer said.

"You can make as many excuses as you'd like - it was a shitty referee, shitty judging. But that's boxing."

Before Sunday, Pacquiao had lost just six times out of a total 67 fights. In the lead up to the fight, his trainer Freddie Roach -- who has trained 49 World Champions -- admitted he would encourage his famous charge to retire if he lost the fight.

"We are getting close to the end I know," Roach said of the 38-year-old's career.

"If he struggles in this fight it could be over."

But Pacquiao hasn't given up the fight yet, telling reporters he would "absolutely" return to Brisbane for a re-match. The fight is expected to take place in November, although it's not yet decided where it will be held.

Horn said he would "prefer" to face off with Pacquiao in Queensland again, but would also go overseas to defend his title.


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