The conclusion of Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez’s fourth fight was unlike any of the previous three. For one, it was by knockout and not judges decision. The other major difference was that Dinamita finally emerged victorious against his long-time rival.
This result has completely altered the legacies of both pugilists and switches the framing story around the four-part epic.
Prior to landing the KO counterpunch in the sixth round of Saturday night’s bout, Marquez was regarded as a great fighter that simply couldn’t beat Pac-Man when it counted.
Now, he’s an elite brawler that was jobbed by the judges and could easily have been 2-0-1 or 3-0-0 going into the fourth meeting, which he easily won and didn’t let anyone else decide his fate in.
For this reason, we’re giving Marquez the edge in his rivalry with Pacquiao, despite his 1-2-1 career record. His sole KO is worth a ton more than any decision or draw, and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the better fighter.
What makes this even more impressive is Marquez’s advanced age. He’s now 39 years old, six years Pacquiao’s senior. While he may have lost a step since the two first met in the ring back in 2004, Dinamita showed that he is a crafty boxer that knows how to step through a powerful punch when the opportunity presents itself.
Pac-Man was careful not to give many openings through the first three bouts, but was far too aggressive on Saturday night. He was knocked down in the third round, shook it off and managed to stun Marquez in the fifth before retiring one round later after being absolutely leveled.
It was a counterpunch that altered the perception of both Marquez and Pacquiao; the former from an unfortunate loser to an under appreciated champion, and the latter was knocked a rung down from Floyd Mayweather in the discussion about this generation’s greatest fighter.
Both men are excellent boxers and will be remembered for their amazing contributions to the sport, and it seems Marquez may have won in the mind’s of the public—even if the record doesn’t state it.