Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Global 2012: Manny Pacquiao Knocked Out by Juan Manuel Marquez

English: Manny Pacquiao, right before the Erik...
English: Manny Pacquiao, right before the Erik Morales fight. (original text) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Juan Manuel Marquez absolutely crushed Manny Pacquiao with a straight right hand at the end of the sixth round of their epic fourth fight, sending him careening to the canvas, face down and unconscious, and scoring a massive victory that completely alters the state of boxing today.

In Pacquiao's last fight, the controversial outcome led to a wave of outcry and attention. Here, the outcome is decisive, but even more buzz-worthy. The Pacquiao vs. Marquez results were brutally shocking, leaving everybody watching the fight, ringside or at home, shaking their head in awe and surprise.

Many people were siding with Marquez to win the fight, including myself, but a knockout victory was completely off the table. Yet, in boxing, one punch can change everything, and a pinpoint Marquez right hand did just that.

The official time of the stoppage for the Pacquiao vs. Marquez results was at 2:59 of Round 6, ending a back-and-forth battle that had already seen each man touch the canvas. Marquez knocked Pacquiao down in the Round 3, and Pacquiao returned the favor in Round 5, in a spectacular round of action.

In the sixth, Pacquiao seemed to be taking control of the fight. Marquez had blood streaming from his nose and splattered all over his face, and seemed to be in increasingly serious trouble.

However, just a tick before the bell, Marquez landed that monster counter right hand. Pacquiao was instantly out. The fight was waved off, and Pacquiao remained motionless for several minutes afterward. Eventually, Pacquiao would sit up on the canvas, in a clear state of disbelief and disgust.

All three judges had the fight scored 47-46 for Pacquiao at the time of the stoppage, as did I when I was watching the fight. He had clearly won the first two rounds before he suffered the knockdown, and then was assuming control of the fight before that thunderous right hand landed.

For Marquez, it's the biggest win of his career, the culmination of eight years of close calls, near misses and mental anguish, and a likely Knockout of the Year as well.

As for Pacquiao, in the build-up to this fight, I wondered what would happen if Marquez won the fight. The two most likely outcomes were that a Pacquiao vs. Marquez 5 fight would take place, or that Pacquiao would retire. Never though did I imagine that Marquez would win via a brutal one-punch knockout.

After the fight, Pacquiao seemed hesitant to commit to anything when interviewed by Larry Merchant. However, he did seem open to yet another match taking place between the two legendary rivals.

The Pacquiao vs. Marquez results provide a huge jolt to the boxing landscape. Everything will be radically different moving ahead, in terms of which fighters are at the top and regarded as untouchable, and which are further down the totem pole.

The fight and the knockout were reminiscent to me of when Roy Jones, who was a commentator for Pacquiao-Marquez 4 coincidentally, got laid out by Antonio Tarver in their rematch. It was a sudden and dramatic one punch ending not only to a fight, but to an aura of invincibility, and it was an immediate line of demarcation for when a legendary fighter no longer had it.

If Pacquiao chooses to continue fighting, he'll still be one of the best fighters in the world. But he will no longer be "Manny Pacquiao", pound for pound champion.

Tonight will be a night that boxing fans, hardcore and casual, will always remember. The image of Pacquiao face down on the canvas, Marquez himself in disbelief standing on the other side of the ring, is something I'll never forget.


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