Juan Manuel Marquez

November 13, 2011 by staff 

Juan Manuel Marquez, Conventional wisdom took a beating on a torrid Saturday night at the MGM Grand and so did boxing’s credibility as once again Manny Pacuqiao was awarded a controversial points victory over Juan Manuel Marquez.

The Filipino was a clear favourite to beat the smaller, older and more defensive Mexican opponent. Instead, he got the fight of his – recent – boxing life, barely landing a punch for long stretches of the fight before eventually battling his way back into it. On balance Pacquiao won the final four or five rounds, but was that enough to make up for Marquez’s good work over the first seven or eight? Hardly.

Give the judges credit – at least they made it close: 114-114, 115-113 and, decisively, 116-112 to the eight-time world champion. Heaven knows what fight the third judge – Glen Trowbridge – was watching, but it certainly wasn’t this one.

This was the third meeting between Pacquiao and Marquez, who had justifiable cause to believe he had won both of their previous fights. But the judges ruled the first a draw and gave the second to the Filipino in a split decision.

Yet it has been three years since their last meeting and a lot has changed since then. Marquez was older and, it was supposed, slower. Pacquiao was bigger, stronger and better.

However it was clear from the start that this was to be no walkover, as Marquez, a counter puncher par excellence, quickly settled into his defensive mode. Yet he landed and a couple of blows, and looked nimble enough in doing so, to suggest at the very least Pacquiao would need to be at his best.

As the first round went, so did the second, with the Filipino taking the first swing and the Mexican taking the second and more effective swing.

Pacquiao narrowly won the third as his quicker hand speed allowed him to land a handful of punches without response. But that was to the the eight-time world champion’s best moment for a while.

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