On the night of December 8 (afternoon of December 9 here in the Philippines) Juan Manuel Marquez finally had closure on his long standing rivalry with Manny Pacquiao, as he dropped the former 10 time division champion with 1 second left in the 6th round to score a stunning KO victory in front of a massive crowd at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
The victory cemented Marquez’s legacy and a free pass at the boxing Hall of Fame. The picture of a jubilant Marquez after referee called for the bell as Pacquiao lied motionless in the canvass, hands down one of the most devastating knockouts I’ve seen in boxing.
While Pacquiao lied motionless and the raucous crowd of 16000+ both celebrated and showed concern to the former champion another story was developing. Jinkee Pacquiao cried like hell as he saw her husband got rocked by an overhand right that dropped his husband, I thought Pacquiao died as it took more than a minute before he came to his senses, he has to be taken to a hospital and miss the post fight conference to have his chin checked up.
After the fight introductions are over courtesy of Mr. WCW Main Ring Announcer himself Michael Buffer, everybody was pumped up and ready for action. Both fighters didn’t disappoint as both fighters came out swinging on the opening bell, as usual a slow start for Marquez while Pacquiao tries to quicken the pace by hitting jabs and trying to land that vicious left hand. Round 2 was still a Pacquiao round hitting combinations while there are moments of brilliance from Marquez, he still wasn’t able to steal this round. Round 3 on the other hand was in a way shocking as Marquez caught Pacquiao with a right hand and floored him legitimately in the middle part of the round. Pacquiao wasn’t able to bounce back as Marquez tried to go for the kill.
See the faces in the crowd, yeah me too was shocked and continued shouting “BUMAGSAK SI MANNY!!!!”. Round 4 ensued as Marquez found his rhythm and clocking Pacquiao with those nice right hands, eventually I kinda gave the round to Marquez because he was able to control and be an effective counter puncher in that round(like most of the rounds in this rivalry). Round 5 was a Pacquiao round as Vintage Pacman took over the round and landed punches that surprised Marquez. Pacquiao was able to floor Marquez in that fight earning him the round and the momentum going into the 6th.
After being floored for the 5th time in all 41 rounds they’ve battled Marquez came out hungry but not hungry enough as Pacquiao put on a beating that only Marquez handled, the crowd went nuts as Marquez answered Pacquiao’s flurries with a flurry of his own, battered broken nose and all Marquez looked like heading into Round 7 behind in the scorecards. Then this happened…
A perfectly time overhand right floored the prized Fighter with 1 second left in the round, forcing the referee to call for the bell and award Marquez the KO victory. The victory was a sigh of relief for Marquez as he felt he won all those 3 fights against Pacquiao (and I felt he only won 2 of them). Marquez can finally go to his grave and say he beat Pacquiao.
That on the other hand this pictured scared me as well as Pacquiao lied motionless in the canvass.
Though the rivalry was exciting and it will definitely help boost boxing back to its old glory while trying to compete against the UFC, a 5th fight with both Hall of Fame fighters is not practical anymore, first off Marquez will turn 40 come next year and admit it or not he only has a few matches left on his tank, that on the other hand if Pacquiao continues to be out of focus and pay more attention on his showbiz career rather than training and being a congressman the sunset on his illustrious career is on the horizon. Pacquiao-Marquez V is like watching a very bad Shake Rattle and Roll film or even the Mano Po saga that eventually got old. I guess hardcore Pacquiao fans will only clamor for a possible 5th fight but I would rather see Pacquiao face either Money Mayweather or Timothy Bradley.
On that note, remember when Arum said The Bull Jake Lamotta and Sugar Ray Robinson fought 6 times, well I don’t want to see that happening there are other fights that both fighters can benefit from.
Though I didn’t cheer for him, prior to the fight Pacquiao’s legacy is already cemented, a ticket to the Boxing Hall of Fame is no question the former 10 time division champion has nothing to be ashamed of, in fact he can leave boxing right now and his name will forever be mentioned in the likes of Ali, Frazier, Lamotta. Robinson, Leonard, Duran, Marciano, Hearns, Hagler,Tyson, Lewis, Holyfield, Dela Hoya, Chaves Sr, Barrera, Morales etc.
Marquez on the other hand have to take a backseat to Barrera and Morales back in early 2000 as both fighters were the darling of the mainstream boxing fans. After his shocking victory he finally booked a ticket to the Hall, and forever be remembered as the person who conquered the Pacific Storm.
Photos: Courtesy of YahooSports and Bleacher Report