Manny Pacquiao wasn't just beaten; he wasn't even just knocked out. He was destroyed in the manner that makes a sensitive boxing fan question why he or she actually loves this potentially brutal sport.
I've always been told: when you see a guy fall forward, you know he's hurt. After Juan Manuel Marquez landed a humongous right-hand counter shot squarely on Pacquiao's nose and chin, he fell face first to the canvas.
He stayed there for a good three-to-five minutes, and I'd be lying if I denied being one of those sensitive boxing fans at that moment.
He eventually made it to his feet, and though I know he had one heck of a headache, he even gave a post-fight interview to Larry Merchant about 20 minutes later.
Here's a look at what turned out to be a very eventful evening.
The ring walk was understated for both men.
Perhaps someone should have borrowed 50 Cent and some cables. The rapper-turned-promoter came to the ring on strings prior to the ring walk of his fighter, Yuriorkis Gamboa, in the preceding fight.
Pacquiao and Marquez had no such fan fare. As a matter of fact, there were no noteworthy celebrities accompanying either fighter. Has anyone told them that's not the way things are done nowadays?
Oh well, they saved their entertainment for the fight itself.
Pacquiao came to the ring to what has become his signature entrance song: Thunderstruck. I never thought it matched him too well, but hey, who am I to judge?
Marquez was all business on his walk.
He didn't crack a smile even while the Mexican national anthem was being butchered. Then again, any other demeanor would have been a shock.
In contrast, Manny Pacquiao was smiling and jovial—even by his fun-loving standards.
RESOUNDING boos as Pacquiao is introduced— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) December 9, 2012
It seemed Pacquiao was firmly in control of the fight. He was moving well, darting in and out. The straight left was landing effectively. He really couldn't have asked for a much better first round.
It is funny how two respected boxing writers can watch the same round, yet see it differently. Check out ESPN's Dan Rafael and Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole's take on the first round, and my live-scoring tweet:
I give first round to Manny 10-9.— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) December 9, 2012
Pacquiao won that first round, 10-9. Not much happened, straight right midway thru was the highlight of the round— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
This round was more of what we saw in the first round. Pacquiao was using his speed and quickness to out-box Marquez.
For a moment, I thought it might be an easy night for Manny.
#PacMarquez4 RD2: Marquez countering & cautious & punches slow. Pac looks sharp fast. Another RD for Pac— FightNights.com™ (@boxing) December 9, 2012
Another Pacquiao round, strong left hands near the middle of the round gave it to him 10-9. Pacquiao picking up the intensity. 20-18 PAC— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
Like a streak of lightning, Juan Manuel Marquez woke up the building. He landed a hard overhand right that flattened Pacquiao.
He got up, but the fight changed at that point.
Manny Pacquiao has been knocked down by Marquez! #PacMarquez in the 3rd— Boxing Insider.com (@BoxingInsider) December 9, 2012
Huge right hand by Marquez drops Pacquiao like a ton of bricks. Pacquiao up, but what a turning point 10-8 round for Marquez. 28-28 even now— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
Pacquiao had regained his wherewithal, and he was fighting spiritedly. The only problem was he had stopped moving his head as much as he was in the first two rounds.
I had him winning the round, but the fight was reverting back to the style of their first three meetings.
Fourth to Pacquiao 10-9 on my card. Was close but I think he landed more and harder shots. I have Manny up 38-37— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) December 9, 2012
Great fight so far, but I give Manny that round, but it was a close one that could be scored either way. 10-9 Pac for me. 38-37 Pac— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
Pacquiao took complete control of the fight. He knocked Marquez down with a stiff left hand, and he hurt him badly towards the end of the round.
Marquez's nose was a bloody mess. I predicted Manny would stop him shortly, but boy was I wrong.
WOOO!!! Banging at MGM. Pacquiao scores knockdown and badly wobbles JMM in closing seconds. 10-8 Pacquiao. 48-45 Pac, Great fight— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
Pacquiao is going to stop him, JMM's nose is broken and bleeding bad— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
It's hard to say what punch was more devastating; the shot Sergio Martinez gave to Paul Williams in 2010, the shot Pacquiao retired Ricky Hatton with in 2009, or the train wreck that landed on Manny's face Saturday night.
I'd have to go with the latter.
Simply because of who the victim was, the punch Marquez knocked Pacquiao out cold with was most devastating KO in the last five years.
Pacquiao is down! Out cold on his face from a huge shot by Marquez at the very end of the round. WOW!!!— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 9, 2012
OMG, out cold, Marquez KOs Pacquiao in the 6th round,— Brian Mazique (@BrianMazique) December 9, 2012
What Social Media Said About the KO
The Photoshoppers were almost as hard on Pacquiao as Marquez.
Lmaoooo these pacquiao pics are getting out of hand twitpic.com/bke2es— eROC (@iamEROC) December 9, 2012
Dime Magazine's Mico Halili compared the Pacquiao loss to other shocking events in his life.
Not sure what's more shocking for me: a) that Pacquiao lost or b) that my mom is reading 50 Shades of Grey.— Mico Halili (@micohalili) December 9, 2012
Pacquiao said he'd like to fight Marquez for a fifth time. Where does it end?
Some think this loss will end any chance of a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather super fight. Ray Ratto of CSN is a bit more cynical about the idea.
Now that nobody cares about seeing Pacquiao-Mayweather, we're going to get three of them, the third in a casino in Biloxi.— Ray Ratto (@RattoCSN) December 9, 2012
Is Mitt Romney bad luck? He was seated in Pacquiao's corner for the fight. Check out his face after Pacquiao gets dropped.
EA Sports Fight Night Champion Accurately Depicts Winner of Fight—Well, Sort Of
Before the fight, I did a simulation of Pacquiao-Marquez IV, and the results were very accurate. The decisive round was a bit off, but the number of knockdowns were spot-on.
Check it out:
What the Experts Wrote Post-Fight
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports wrote about the knockout and saying goodbye to the Pacquiao-Mayweather superfight:
As Pacquiao lay prone on the mat and Marquez and his fans celebrated, somewhere, Floyd Mayweather Jr. had to be kicking himself. The world's top boxer failed to sign a fight with Pacquiao that would have been the richest bout of all-time, haggling over seemingly minor issues with so much money at stake.
While it's not out of the question that Mayweather and Pacquiao could still fight, the bout will never have the kind of luster it had when they were 1-2 in the rankings and both seemingly invincible.
Yet with one heat-seeking right hand on Saturday night, Marquez provided a definitive conclusion to a rivalry that spanned 42 rounds over seven years and three weight classes -- and lay waste to the white whale that had come to overshadow his nearly two decades of accomplishments in the hardest game.
Michael Rosenthal of Ring Magazine had this to say:
For Marquez, the result couldn’t have been sweeter. He fought his heart out and effectively in their previous three meetings only to come up short each time, fighting to a draw once and losing close decisions twice.
And the profoundly emphatic manner in which he got it done will go down as one of the most dramatic moments in boxing history, leaving no doubt whatsoever about the 39-year-old Mexican’s greatness. This will define him.
Dan Rafael of ESPN said:
After four grueling and razor-close fights between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, the demand was for, at long last, a definitive outcome in the fourth, and possibly final, fight between these great rivals.
Well, it gets no more definitive than that.
Jon Saraceno of Detroit Free Press and USA Today said:
Covered in a mask of blood, the 39-year-old fighter blasted Pacquiao with a huge right hand with one second remaining in the sixth round to score a decisive knockout, the first time he defeated his Filipino adversary in four attempts.
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