Juan Manuel Marquez's stunning knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao on Saturday was all about the fraction of the moment that it took Marquez to land his bomb of right hand, but this great fight was shaped by three dynamic rounds.
Pacquiao came out in this round light on his feet and moving, confounding the counter-punching Marquez. It was the same strategy Pacquiao used to win the first two rounds, and had Manny looking like he was in firm control of the fight.
However, Marquez began to cut Pacquiao off and it became more of a toe-to-toe battle.
Then, Pacquiao faked inside to Marquez's left and bobbed to his right just as Marquez was throwing a right-handed bomb, and for the first time in this epic rivalry, Manny hit the canvas.
He was dazed, but still brawling. They traded punches, but Marquez landed another big right to win the round 10-8 and even the fight.
At this point, it was clear fight fans were in for a gem.
Manny was solid in the fourth after the knockdown, and he once again began to take control of the fight. Pac-Man owned the fifth.
He was moving well and landing some nice combos. Pacquiao then hit with a hard right that stumbled Marquez for a knockdown.
It looked like he was in trouble, but that was when Marquez was at his most dangerous in this fight.
JMM landed a big right, but Pacquiao was barely fazed. The two were just downright brawling even though Marquez had a noticeable wobble to his legs for the finish of this round.
Pacquiao still got the better of Round 5 and it looked like it was going to propel him to victory. Marquez's nose was beginning to gush, and he was a battered fighter entering the sixth.
Pacquiao quickly went to work on the injured Marquez. He landed some nice lefts as Marquez just kept getting bloodier. At that point, it was safe to wonder how much longer the ref would let the fight continue.
Manny kept finding success with the left. Marquez landed some nice body blows, but Pac-Man was easily winning the round as it was drawing to a close.
Then it happened.
Pacquiao flinched, then led with a jab as Marquez began throwing an overhand right with everything he had, and it caught Pac-Man square in the face.
Manny was face down and he would not get up off the canvas for minutes. It was a brutal knockout, and it instantly became the defining moment of one of the greatest rivalries boxing has ever known.
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