Filipino boxer and senator Manny Pacquiao’s July 2 world welterweight title loss to Jeff Horn is – at least particularly in online social media sites – being taken as bad karma for his well-documented anti-LGBT stance, particularly because he lost to a pro-LGBT Australian.
As a PR effort, Pacquiao also met with select LGBT community members supposedly to listen to their issues. But as a politician, he again attacked moves for the passage of law to protect the human rights of LGBT Filipinos.
Horn, meanwhile, dedicated his win to bullied kids, adding that he used to be called gay and bullied in school. The bullying almost drove Horn to suicide; but which also led him to pick up boxing.
Horn winning over Pacquiao was considered controversial, with non-official scorecards giving the fight to the Filipino boxer, even if the judges unanimously gave it to Horn. But as far as LGBT advocacy is concerned, Horn is winning the fight hands-down.
Interviewed by Outsports, Horn recalled being “called ‘gay’ a lot. Words like that shouldn’t hurt me, but I was a kid. It cuts deep, especially when it’s every day. You don’t know how to stop it. Day by day, it takes a bit of you. I know the lows you can feel. I’ve had those feelings, like suicidal thoughts. I can remember some days that I felt that because of the bullying.”
After winning against Pacquiao, Horn said that he isn’t “saying Manny Pacquiao’s a bully or anything”, but he still expressed shock that the Filipino boxer voiced his anti-LGBT beliefs. “I don’t really get into that type of thing (making anti-LGBT statements). People can do what people want to do. It’s everyone’s own life,” Horn was quoted as saying. “This is a win for all you guys out there being bullied.”