Less than two weeks before his fourth encounter with long-time boxing rival Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., on Dec. 8, Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez, continues to discredit boxing judges who scored his last three fights against Pacquiao.
In his statement posted on Boxing Scene, Marquez was quoted to have said: " It seems Manny Pacquiao has only one opponent—me—while I have four—Manny and the judges."
Marquez' statement seems to cast doubts on the integrity of all boxing judges in his last three fights against Pacquiao.
Marquez has been claiming he got robbed of his victories in all three fights he had with the Filipino boxing star and blamed the judges for his debacles.
In 2004, Marquez and Pacquiao fought to a controversial draw in a featherweight bout (126 pounds). Pacquiao would have won via a split decision if not for a scoring error committed by one of the judges, who scored a round at 10-7 instead of 10-6 for Pacquiao's three knockdowns of Marquez.
In 2008, at super featherweight (130 pounds), Marquez and Pacquiao clashed again in a hotly contested rematch in which Pacquiao earned a split-decision victory. Pacquiao's third-round knockdown of Marquez could have influenced the decision of the judges, as they gave the winning score to the Filipino boxing idol.
In 2011, Pacquiao and Marquez fought for a third time at a catchweight of 144 pounds in which Marquez lost again via majority decision. But Marquez protested, claiming he was robbed of his victory for the third time. Read more.
Marquez attributes his losses in all his past three fights against Pacquiao to poor or flawed scoring by the judges.
Now, it appears the judges he was referring to in his statement include the ones recently designated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the Dec. 8 fight.
But in his reaction to the selection of judges by NSAC on Nov. 15, Marquez seems to affirm the impartiality of the newly-designated judges.
"The judges will be in the eye of the hurricane. They'll be being watched closely by television reporters, by the people, not to be exposed to another controversial ruling. That leaves me quiet," said Marquez (via RingTV)
"I thank Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions for fighting for judges that are different from the others. I've done fights with Manny Pacquiao, and that none of the judges have been appointed [this far] before any of our fights, which tells me [that they'll] be impartial,"
NSAC has designated Adelaide Byrd of Las Vegas, Steve Weisfeld of New Jersey and John Keane of England as judges of the fourth Pacquiao-Marquez fight.
Kenny Bayless was designated referee of the Dec. 8 fight.
Marquez' statement on the impartiality of the newly-appointed judges is a welcome development for fight fans as it will also stop Marquez from blaming the judges, should there be a close call in the scoring on Dec. 8.
In fairness to the Mexican ring star and in the opinion of neutral fans, the third fight he had with Pacquiao last year should have been decided in his favor.
It is worth noting though, that Pacquiao was also in a similar situation when the judges ruled in favor of Timothy Bradley in their fight last June 9.
The difference is that Pacquiao accepted the judges' verdict gracefully, after saying during the post-fight interview that he believed he won the fight.