Winners and Losers from Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV
When Juan Manuel Marquez connected with what was destined to become one of the most famous punches in boxing history it was as if time had stopped.
The once seemingly invincible Manny Pacquiao fell to the mat in a heap, was knocked unconscious and for a few moments it seemed like we have collectively fallen into some sort of alternate reality.
For two fighters who in their previous 36 rounds had maybe three or four that could be scored decisively, this ending seemed impossible.
It was the proverbial bolt from the blue, the lottery shot, the home run, the Hail Mary or whatever other sports cliche you want to insert here.
And it ended the fight and more importantly it shook up the entire boxing world.
It also left us with clear winners and losers which go far beyond the two men in the ring. Its reverberations are sure to be felt in the coming months and we'll assess some of them here.
Winner: Juan Manuel Marquez
While it is hard to root against a fighter like Manny Pacquiao, it is impossible not to be happy for Juan Manuel Marquez.
A truly elite fighter who was forced to work away from the big stage for most of his career, Marquez has validated his status with this win.
Before this fight you could easily make the argument that he was Pacquiao's kryptonite, having held him to a draw and twice lost close, controversial decisions.
While close and controversial fights are nice, the official records are black and white and a loss still means a loss.
History only remembers the winners and Marquez finally secured his career-defining moment. In the process, he can finally say that he holds a win in the books against Pacquiao.
He is by far the biggest winner from this past weekend.
Loser: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Many have argued that Manny Pacquiao's defeat is in some way a victory for Floyd Mayweather Jr. The notion alone is simply ridiculous.
The thinking goes that Mayweather defeated Marquez with ease, Marquez knocked out Pacquiao and therefore Mayweather holds some sort of mythical victory over the Pac-Man.
This logic is fundamentally flawed. Boxing is full of examples of fighters who beat somebody and then got beat by someone that fighter beat.
A recent example being Bernard Hopkins: Hopkins lost to Jermain Taylor, who lost to Kelly Pavlik. Therefore Pavlik should have beaten Hopkins.
But of course it did not turn out that way.
The Pacquiao loss is also likely to hurt "Money" in the place he values that most—his wallet.
Face it, both fighters need each other.
Whether or not the two would ever have met in the ring is irrelevant. Many people tuned into both Mayweather and Pacquiao's fights in the hopes that they would see the fight that paved the way for "the fight."
With that mythical matchup seemingly off the table now, and even if not far diminished, this will hurt the earning power of both fighters.
Winner: Boxing Fans
All the talk leading into this fight was about how close and competitive the first three bouts were. And with the experts predicting more of the same it was easy to expect more controversy.
Controversy is a bad thing in boxing. Too often bad decisions mar the sport in the eyes of a public who has been fleeing in alarming numbers for years now.
With one big right-hand shot Juan Manuel Marquez dispensed the controversy and gave boxing fans a clear, decisive winner for the first time in the series.
There would be no more close rounds, split decisions or grumbling about the judges. Not on this night at least and that is a great thing for fans of both fighters and fans of the sport.
Loser: Manny Pacquiao
It's hard to label Pacquiao a total loser coming out of this weekend. The reality probably lies somewhere in the middle, but reality is trumped by perception.
Nobody is talking about the fact that at the time of the stoppage Pacquiao had Marquez badly hurt, with a broken nose, and seemed about to end the fight himself.
Few are talking about the moments in which he looked like the "old Pacquiao."
But how can you blame them? That was not a punch.
It was the boxing equivalent of a nuclear explosion. And right, wrong or indifferent it is going to lend credence to all the naysayers who have felt for years that Pacquiao could never beat Marquez.
More than anything else that is what will lead us all back here sometime next year to do it again.
Winner: Michael Farenas
Yuriorkis Gamboa was originally scheduled to make his return to the ring against Mexican super featherweight Miguel Beltran Jr.
But when Beltran pulled out of the fight, citing lingering injuries from his war with Rocky Martinez earlier this year, the little known Michael Farenas jumped at the opportunity to appear on American pay-per-view.
Coming into the fight his biggest claim to fame was being a protege of Filipino boxing legend Gerry Penalosa, but few gave him a chance of upstaging a fighter who just a year ago was considered one of the best in the sport.
And while Farenas did come up short he gave a very good account of himself. He hurt Gamboa on several occasions, took many of his best shots and even dropped him in the ninth round.
If he had just a little more power, he might even have scored the upset.
Even without it he was impressive and deserves another shot.
Loser: 50 Cent
Quick, when was the last time Oscar De La Hoya or Bob Arum dropped down to the ring on a harness and gave their fighter a musical serenade?
If you answered never then you are correct.
Let's try not to be too rough on 50 Cent, after-all he's brand new to the boxing promotional game. But generally speaking it is never a good idea to upstage your own fighter.
And that is exactly what he did with his over-the-top entrance.
It clearly showed that he doesn't understand that his job as the promoter is to promote his fighters and not himself.
Winner: Adrien Broner
"The Problem" did not even fight this weekend but his stock rises due to those who did.
Broner, the WBC lightweight champion already holds a victory over Antonio DeMarco and has been mentioned as a possibility for a unification match with IBF champion Miguel Vazquez.
Another man frequently linked to him is the newly crowned interim-WBA super featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Both fighters put up less than stellar performances this past weekend and Broner should be licking his chops to get a hold of either one.
Gamboa in particular exhibited the defensive liabilities and chin issues that have given many pause about declaring him a potential elite fighter.
Putting it simply, if he put up that performance against Broner he might have his head removed from his shoulders.
Loser: Brandon Rios
It was all looking up for Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios.
He erased, or at least glossed over, an undeserved victory over Richard Abril earlier in the year with a courageous, action-packed victory over Mike Alvarado in October.
If everything went right he was already all but announced as the next man up for Manny Pacquiao if he had defeated Juan Manuel Marquez.
All it took was one punch to shatter that dream.
It's unlikely that Rios will still be mentioned as a possible opponent for a returning Pacquiao, who will likely look for something of a tune-up before pursuing a fifth fight with Marquez.
He may well get a shot at this past weekends winner in Marquez but that fight will be far less lucrative.
And stylistically Marquez is much better equipped to handle Rios.
Winner: Miguel Vazquez
With his victory over Mercito Gesta on Saturday night, Miguel Vazquez assured himself of a long reign as IBF lightweight champion.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that he did it by stinking out the joint and showing himself to be a boring, tactical fighter who brings virtually no rewards for his level of risk.
It's hard to imagine anyone lining up to face this guy and that's a great thing for him if he wants to keep his belt and a great thing for boxing fans who never want to see him again.
How many of you knew that Patrick Hyland, who lost a boring decision to Javier Fortuna on the televised undercard, was promoted by Snooki?
Yes that Snooki.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, along with her father, are the promoters for Hyland who might have actually had a chance to upset Fortuna had he actually fought a few rounds.
The fight was there on the table but Hyland appeared to feel he would be better served by not letting his hands go and making a realistic attempt.
Perhaps the better question is, how many of you care who Patrick Hyland is, much less who promotes him?