Manny Pacquiao wins another tight decision over Juan Manuel Marquez
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez completed their trilogy with another tight decision. Pacquiao won a majority decision, while Marquez claimed he was robbed. The win clears the path for a Pacquiao showdown with Floyd Mayweather next May
Las Vegas, NV, United States
November 13, 2011 09:03 am EST
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fought for the third time, and it was every bit as close as the first two.
Pacquiao won a majority decision in Las Vegas, Saturday, that left Marquez complaining he’d been robbed.
The two fighters started their trilogy in May, 2004, as 125 pounders and finished it seven and a half years later and 17 pounds heavier.
In their first bout, Pacquiao floored Marquez three times in the first round, then saw Marquez finish with a furious rally to earn a split draw that had a 10-point swing on the judges’ scorecards.
The 2008 rematch had a six-point swing on the scorecards, with a Pacquiao third-round knockdown of Marquez making the difference in a one-point split-decision win.
Marquez stayed on his feet Saturday night, but for the first time in the three fights, no judge turned in a card showing him the winner.
Still, most rounds were extremely close, with the winner depending on the viewer’s preference.
Pacquiao appeared to be significantly faster than Marquez in hand and foot speed. In the early rounds, he kept a respectful distance and seemed to be trying to lure Marquez out of his counter-punching comfort zone.
Pacquiao would dart in and throw lightning-fast combinations, then dart out before Marquez could retaliate.
Despite the speed advantage, most of the power punches that landed cleanly in the bout came from the right hand of Marquez.
Marquez frustrated Pacquiao by defending the quick combinations and not attempting to give chase. Instead, he’d wait until Pacquiao settled in and unleash a right to the head.
Marquez backed Pacquiao up with rights in rounds three and each of rounds five through seven. He also worked the body of Pacquiao from the opening bell, landing three times as many body shots as Pacquiao.
Pacquiao lured Marquez into prolonged exchanges as the fight wore on, and the mid-to-late rounds were where he found the most success, although, again, the question was whether an observer preferred Pacquiao’s significantly higher work rate or Marquez’s cleaner, more powerful connects.
Pacquiao suffered a cut over his right eye in the 10th round from a Marquez head butt, although his corner was able to keep it from becoming a factor.
In the championship rounds, Marquez’s trainer, Nacho Beristain assured him that he was winning the fight by a large margin, and Marquez’s work rate slowed as he appeared to be protecting his lead.
In particular, the twelfth round saw Marquez remain inactive and at a distance from Pacquiao.
As it turned out, that round could have changed the outcome of the fight. Two judges had the score close enough that one round would have tipped the decision in the other direction.
Robert Hoyle scored it a 114-114 draw, matching AHN’s unofficial scorecard. Glen Trowbridge had it 116-112 for Pacquiao, matching HBO’s unofficial card. Dave Moretti saw it 115-113 for Pacquiao as well, giving him the decision.
The judges rewarded Pacquiao for his punch volume, as he outthrew Marquez by 140 shots and outlanded him by 38. Marquez landed at a much higher rate, however, and he left the ring in disgust as soon as the decision was announced.
“This is the second robbery, and this one was even more clear,” Marquez told HBO in the locker room. “It’s difficult when you’re fighting against your opponent and also the three judges.”
Pacquiao addressed the booing crowd after the decision was announced and said, “It’s clear I won the fight. I’m a puncher, and he was waiting on my punches and not throwing any.”
Pacquiao moved to 54-3-2, winning his 15th straight. He successfully defended the WBO welterweight title. Marquez fell to 53-6-1.
The decision clears the way for a showdown with Floyd Mayweather. The much-hyped superfight has been mired in negotiations, although Mayweather announced recently he was going to book a venue for the bout next May.
“Let’s do it. Make the fight happen on May 5,” Pacquiao said.
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