I didn’t see a second of Saturday’s third match between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. I was busy drinking beers by a camp fire and staring at the stars, contemplating the future of the sport of mixed martial arts. It was a reflective evening that I maybe should have saved for Sunday, because I’m told that I missed a thrilling bout between two familiar foes. It generated “_______ Was Robbed!’ headlines:
While Marquez, 38, briefly basked in the celebration of an apparent triumph after the 12th round, lifting his right fist to the air as if to forever puncture the cloud of close-call shortcomings versus Pacquiao, the Filipino superstar retreated to his corner to kneel and pray.
By executing a superior counterpunching display that defused Pacquiao’s aggressive style and subjected the welterweight world champion to a routine of punches in the face, Marquez accomplished so much.
Marquez wasn’t around to see it, but Pacquiao revealed the hollowness of his 15th consecutive “victory,” showing up at his postfight news conference as a beaten man.
There is no truth to the rumor that Manny Pacquiao was seen speeding away from the MGM Grand Garden Arena wearing a mask with three blind judges in the backseat on Saturday night.
But after he took a controversial 12-round majority decision from Juan Manuel Marquez to the disbelief of many ringside observers and a partisan Mexican crowd, Ignacio (Nacho) Berstain, Marquez’s trainer, could have sworn that’s exactly what he saw.
“It was a robbery of the utmost,” Berstain said.
He wasn’t alone in that opinion. While Pacquiao was being interviewed by HBO’s Max Kellerman after retaining his WBO welterweight title, boos rained down from the audience as did cups of beer and soda.
The bout tonight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez was supposed to answer all the questions about which of these two future Hall of Famers was the superior boxer. It only muddied the waters. In a contest that lacked the big knockdowns of their other two encounters, the Pac-Man managed to earn a majority decision. However, it seemed that the most of press row had the verdict the other way around or a draw.
Because of the lack of decisive blows, it was a painfully difficult fight to score. There was barely a round in which there seemed to be a definitive winner. Marquez connected with his vaunted straight right and some potent uppercuts but never seemed to wobble Pacquiao. Pacquiao often popped his straight left down the middle of Marquez’s defense but never with anything approximating the effect that he had in their previous engagements.
So we turn to the blogs. ESPN New York’s Fight Blog said Marquez was not “robbed,” but that’s only to say the fight was close and Marquez has no right to complain. Bad Left Hook went back and re-scored the fight in Marquez’s favor the next day. The Queensberry Rules also had it close, but would have leaned towards Marquez.
This leaves us with a few unanswered questions. Was Marquez able to hang with Pacquiao because they know each other so well after two previous bouts? Was Pacquiao unmotivated or looking ahead of the man he had previously beaten and drawn with? Is Marquez really going to get another fucking rematch against a guy who he hasn’t been able to beat in three tries? And of course, the only question that anyone really, truly gives a shit about outside boxing circles… Is Manny Pacquiao going to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Don’t hold your breath. Via the LA Times:
“That fight [against Mayweather] can still be there for us” a year from now, Arum told The Times.
Angry Floyd Mayweather turns 35 in February. He says he wants to fight on Cinco de Mayo. If he does, he’s not fighting Pacquiao a year from now. Who knows how much time he’ll take off between May and his following fight. It was 14-months between Mosely and Ortiz. 8-months between Ortiz and Marquez and 21-months before that.
Mayweather doesn’t need to fight every six months. Not when he’s making $25 million on a single fight. If fans are lucky, they’ll get a 36-year-old Floyd Mayweather and a 34-year-old Manny Pacquiao in the spring of 2013. That is, of course, assuming that Mayweather gets past ________ and Marquez doesn’t finally take out Pacquaio because Manny would probably want a rematch. Unless Mayweather then fights Marquez who he beat by decision in 2009. This is going to be awesome.