Ladies and gentlemen, and now a few whiskey-inspired words… from Dr. Milhouse
It has been well-established on this site that I am a degenerate gambler. And when I say that, I don’t mean that I put a few bucks down on Fantasy Football, but I will put money down on things I don’t have the slightest idea about–just for the sake of doing it. So when the Chump asked me about prop bets on the Pacquiao fight, my first reaction was, like most of America, “Pacquiao is fighting tonight?” But, like any good degenerate, I looked them up. Nearly 4-1 odds on Jeff Horn to beat the welterweight champion of the world, who a large number of people consider one of the best boxers in history. That was on top of 12-1 odds for Horn to win by decision, and 8-1 odds for Horn to win by a knockout. Obviously, there weren’t many people thinking Horn stood a chance. He was an amateur boxer, and a schoolteacher. He had no business in the ring against the champion.
Except he was Australian. And the match was in Brisbane. And literally nobody likes Manny Pacquiao.
So, the Chump and I put some money down on the Australian, at varying amounts depending on how he’d win. Because who knows more about boxing than us? Boxers. But besides them, who else? Boxing announcers. Besides them? Boxing fans. But aside from them? No one. Damn straight.
And, at nearly midnight, and after a number of drinks between the Lightning’s rookie camp earlier in the day, hockey free agency opening, and not having to work for a five day weekend, my wife and I walked over to the bar to watch the fight. Bourbon in hand, I watched as Horn opened up strong against Pacquiao. A few strong punches in the first round caused a low rumble in the bar, and we were all staring to feel we might be watching history.
Then Pacquiao woke up. Round after round, he laid into Horn. Horn would fight back with a few uppercuts, and then Paq would clinch, and stop the momentum. Every time Horn would get a few punches in, Paquiao would counter, and then clinch. Over and over, drink after drink, whiskey after whiskey, the pattern continued. But as the fight wore on, Pacquiao’s forehead opened up. He began to bleed from the hairline. And then the other side of his head opened up. And Horn kept coming. But the pattern continued. Punch, punch, clinch. Punch, punch clinch. And between the clinches, Pacquaio would throw a punch that would catch Ford straight in the face. While the Pac Man wasn’t dominating the fight, it was decidedly in his favor. He was leading on ESPN’s scorecard, and in the mind of everyone in the bar.
By the ninth round, it was obvious if Horn didn’t knock him out, he was going to lose, and the night would be chalked up a loss. I cashed out, my wife went to the bathroom, we began to say our goodbyes. But then….something weird happened.
HORN. WON. BY. UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Everyone in the room just stared at the screen. How? How could this possibly happen? Horn had landed significantly fewer shots, and far fewer significant punches. And he won by a landslide. Which meant profit. I began to jump for joy, giving fist bumps and group hugs with everyone who would pay attention. As I walked home, I turned ESPN radio on onto my phone. Every announcer was out-and-out dumbfounded. One even said he had given up on the sport of boxing. Tony Atlas, who had the fight scored as Pacquiao in a walk, was ranting and raving on live TV. He even started the post-match interview with the winner with, “I thought you lost.”
But sometimes….just sometimes…..Gamblor, the God of Gambling, smiles on the just. There is zero legitimate reason for Horn to have won. But, as I said before, EVERYONE. HATES. PACQUIAO.