PACQUIAO-MARQUEZ FIGHT BREAKDOWN:
Even in boxing’s greatest trilogies, there is usually one bout that is lackluster. However, Pacquiao and Marquez did what even Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, as well as Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier could not do; have all three of their prestigious bouts fought in memorable fashion. With all three leaving the viewing public divided in who they felt won the bout. Each fight left every body satisfied with their purchase, and each man once again sincerely felt he won the fight. The only difference with this fight that separates it from the first two encounters is that Juan Manuel Marquez did not suffer any knockdowns this time, and very few outside of Marquez’s Mexican faithful really gave Marquez a chance of winning this fight. Where as in the first two fights just about everybody was expecting Marquez and Pacquiao to be on even footing. The notion coming in this time around was one that suggested that Marquez may be too old at age 38, or too small having lost his only bout at Welterweight in blowout fashion, or perhaps Pacquiao, age 32, had surpassed him and his growth since their last bout at Super Featherweight in 2008 would be too great for Marquez. From the time Marquez stepped into the ring, those sentiments were discarded.
His Welterweight body was something to behold this time out, two years ago against Floyd Mayweather, Marquez’s body looked very much like that of a blown up Lightweight. Against Pacquiao this past Saturday, once Marquez took off his robe it was apparent he was a much more fleshed out Welterweight, as he shockingly held a two pound weight advantage over Manny Pacquiao coming into the ring. Marquez’s 150 pound frame was not looking like a blown up Lightweight this time, he matched Pacquiao’s size. Pacquiao’s trainer,Freddie Roach, is one of the greatest trainers of all time, however he stated the plan for Pacquiao early on was to counter the counter puncher in drawing Marquez forward to open op offensive opportunities. Yet a counter puncher is closely related to a pure boxer, a technician, and Marquez surely fits that description. Although Pacquiao has progressed tremendously in his skills, his bread and butter is his explosiveness and high octane offense. Meaning, no matter how good of a boxer-puncher Pacquiao is and becomes, he should always be the aggressor and look to land his sizzling combination’s with both hands. To look for a tactical fight with Marquez may have not been the best game plan for Pacquiao, but then again how can anyone question Freddie Roach? The multiple time ‘Trainer of the Year’ must have seen something in the tapes that would lead him to believe that drawing Marquez in this time around would give Pacquiao more success than in previous bouts. None the less, Marquez showed Pacquiao early on that once again, he was in for a very close fight. Despite Pacquiao being the faster and harder hitting puncher, as well as having many more fights at the Welterweight division, the eight division Champion looked more hesitant in his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez than in his first two fights with the Mexico City star. Due to less tenacity, and good tactical adjustments by Marquez, Pacquiao was not able to put on nearly as violent a display of his celebrated offense as he did in 2004 and 2008, knocking Marquez down four times total in the previous two Championship fights. What ensued was a dead even bout, with this site ending up with a card of 115-113 for Juan Manuel Marquez. Despite the compubox numbers, it seemed as though Marquez’s punches landed cleaner than Pacquiao’s did by a slim margin to give him a victory over twelve exciting rounds. Marquez’s shots may not have been as lethal or as fast as Pacquiao’s, however his combination’s were landing with more frequency, and his defense was slightly tighter than Pacquiao’s.
All in all, it is another hotly debatable, classic bout between two ring legends. Maybe it was illogical all along to believe these two would fight to anything but another fight like this. For Marquez, and his supporters, they appeared to have took great solace in his Marquez’s performance while at the same time showing great disdain for the judge’s verdict. The crowd on hand at the MGM Grand Garden Arena appeared to have been split between Pacquiao’s followers and Marquez’s 50-50 throughout the weigh in festivities and pre-fight pageantry. Once Michael Buffer announced the scores of 114-114,and 115-113, 116-112 respectively, for Manny Pacquiao via Majority Decision, to deem him still the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World, and victor of his incredible trilogy with Juan Manuel Marquez: 2-0-1. The crowd’s voiced a one sided disapproval of the decision, as Marquez’s supporters loudly announced their displeasure with more emphasis than Pacquiao’s supporters’ adulation that the pride of the Philippines had remained undefeated since March of 2005. A poll posed by HBO revealed that over 60 percent of viewers believed Marquez was robbed, and only 12 percent of boxing experts polled had Pacquaio winning. Pacquiao’s aggression and energy gets him the nod in these close bouts with the Vegas judges, rather than Marquez’s precise counter punching. Whether the viewer had Marquez winning or losing it seemed as though everyone was in universal agreement; Pacquiao had a lackluster performance, and Marquez had a great one. One that surpassed expectations, and perhaps that helps him in the public’s opinion of his performance and scoring him the fight. Boxing is thankfully triumphant on the big stage, as it had casual fans and boxing enthusiasts alike greatly pleased with the fight, and vocal in their opinions. Marquez and trainer Nacho Beristain believed they had won, and Pacquiao stated he understood that Marquez’s fans were upset, but that he was clearly the winner. Although there would surely be clamor for a fourth encounter with Marquez, the fight that is on the worlds’ collective brain is Mayweather-Pacquiao and has been for quite some time now. Even amongst those who were incensed with the decision still are pleading for Mayweather-Pacquiao before wanting to see Marquez attempt to officially upend Manny Pacquiao for a fourth try. This performance by Marquez would suggest that he should not be plummeted at all from his top five pound for pound status, it should cement it for the time being.
As for Manny Pacquiao, he still presents the toughest style for Floyd Mayweather at Welterweight with his explosive offensive arsenal, and unique punching angles. However, it was obvious that again Marquez’s counter punching and skills greatly troubled Pacquiao, and although Marquez is a hall of fame great fighter, Mayweather is the best defensive counter punching fighter in boxing. Mayweather would logically be a favorite should the two superstars meet. Mayweather is superior to Marquez in every category, and he swept Marquez 12-0 two years ago. He is also a bigger man than Pacquiao, and much faster than Marquez. “Styles make fights” and on paper, Floyd Mayweather is a favorite to beat Manny Pacquiao. Nobody wants to do this fight on paper anymore though, it is time to bring it alive against the odds of promoters, and fear of losing marketability on either side. If Pacquaio-Marquez III was able to give boxing a shot in the arm like that this past week. What could a good fight between Mayweather and Paacquiao produce? A tremendous boost in legacy for either man, the largest payday either could have dreamed of, and the fight the world has been discussing for almost three years now. Hopefully the next fight to be dissected is Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2012.