At 9 p.m. ET tonight, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will enter the ring for the highly anticipated third bout between the two boxers—but this fight will offer a definitive winner.
In 2004, these two fought for the first time. A first-round flurry from the 25-year-old Pacquiao broke the nose of Marquez, according to Don Steinberg on ESPN.com. The fight looked as if it would be one-sided, but Marquez battled back to earn a draw and retain his title.
However, one judge’s scoring of the first round was discussed by Steinberg.
“It's revealed that Clements scored the first round 10-7 for Pacquiao instead of the 10-6 score that a three-knockdown round normally should get. Had he made it 10-6, Pacquiao would be a split-decision winner.”
The draw did inspire the fighters to take to the ring yet again four years later in 2008.
Once again, Pac-Man got the upper-hand early, but a Marquez mid-round rally kept the fight close. Steinberg reported Pacquiao’s split-decision win, but it was yet another result that failed to provide closure on who the better fighter is.
Without a knockout or unanimous decision, fighters and fans are left on a swaying balance beam rather than being given a definitive answer.
At age 38, Marquez has agreed to fight Pacquiao likely for the last time. This time, Marquez won’t be able to rally from an early pounding, as he’s far past his prime. Pac-Man will keep the pressure coming through the middle rounds, culminating in a two-punch combo in a Round 7 knockout.
While Pacquiao seems to be continuously improving as a fighter and athlete, Marquez has dipped into the downside of his career. A brutal loss to Pacquiao could spell the end for Marquez’s career.
Pac-Man will devastate his older opponent, finally earning distinctive bragging rights against Marquez.