So the last big fight of the 2011 year is now complete, and the final matchup of one of the greatest trilogies of this era came to an end as well.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III was supposed to be the defining fight to settle the score between two of the best fighters of this generation. The only problem was the end result did not settle anything at all. In fact, it created more controversy, drama and question marks when it was supposed to just provide us simple answers.
It seemed everyone had a difference of opinion on what the actual score card of Pacquiao vs. Marquez III should have been, but the official judges' scorecards had it as a majority-decision win for the champion Manny Pacquiao with one judge having it a draw 114 to 114, 115 to 113 and 116 to 112.
For those of you who did not have the honor of being in Las Vegas this past weekend, here's a photo slide show of 10 Things We Learned From Pacquiao vs. Marquez III in Las Vegas.
I was making my rounds walking around the MGM Grand Arena trying to find some hard-core fans to take pictures of wearing interesting fight gear for our photo slideshow and then the Bradley vs. Joel Casamayor fight was about to begin so as the first round began, I saw it was evident that Bradley was showing signs of ring rust for being out of the ring for almost a year now.
A group of Mexican fans starting telling me this guy Bradley's fighting is a bum, I explained to them that he's Casamayor, a former WBC champion who fought some of the best names in the sport.
They then said, but yea, he's old as hell now.
Casamayor is 40 years old, and he did look like a 40-year-old fighting a man in his 20s that night.
It was rather ironic that in pre-fight buildup, Casamayor trash talked Bradley and taunted him about being a dirty fighter and headbutting his way to win, but it was Joel himself who actually blatantly fought dirty by holding, pushing Bradley, and yes, using his own head.
Bradley did not look sharp or impressive against the overmatched old veteran, and again, I attribute that to the long lay off outside the ring. Should he fight a few more times in early 2012, he'll be back into his own element.
The biggest fight for him that makes the most sense is a super fight with the other man in his division at 140 lbs Amir Khan where we will finally get one true unified undisputed champion at 140 lbs.
In the post-fight conference, I got a chance to speak with Bradley. He was very positive and modest about his win and performance. He also felt Pacquiao did enough to win the fight by a few rounds despite the many fans and media feeling Marquez won that night.
Also Bradley sets the record straight that his actual Twitter account is: @TimBradleyJr
All other Tim Bradley accounts ARE NOT HIM. There is a Tim Bradley Twitter account that has over 1,500 followers and who is cussing out other fighters such as Amir Khan and Maidana out daily, that is NOT him that is an impostor. So make sure to unfollow him or any other fake Tim Bradley accounts and follow the real Twitter account fight fans.
If you've been going to the big fights at the MGM Grand for some time, then you probably know that one of the major sponsors tends to be TECATE beer which means the TECATE girls will be on hand dressed in their usual red short skirts and even shorter red tank tops.
They are usually holding boxing related props such as one boxing glove and a boxing champion belt to remind us why we spent on that money on our tickets.
As much love as I have for the TECATE girls, I personally feel the Corona girls are usually even hotter with their even tighter short spandex shorts and spandex top in the signature blue and silver Corona colors. Don't worry fight fans, the next Corona-sponsored fight I'll cover I'll post pics as well so we can have a fair open debate on who is hotter.
Just as I was about to walk away from the TECATE girls I realized this fight fan looking at them is even way hotter than the TECATE girls.
Maybe she's thinking hmm maybe I can be a TECATE girl...no that belt looks too heavy to hold for long extended periods of time.
Another reason to go to the fights in person, the hot female fight fans who are even hotter than the TECATE girls!
If I was Bob Arum, or Oscar De La Hoya, I would show this girl and promote all fights by saying this is the average female fight fan who shows up to all the fights. If they were to do that, then all fights would sell out in record-breaking 60 seconds or less.
On Saturday fight day, I told myself I need to eat something nice for lunch since I'll most likely be eating the famous free media buffet in the MGM Grand media center later that night so I headed over to world-renowned celebrity chef Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. (Yes, the dude who stole Mrs. Ari from Ari in the final season of Entourage)
The food there is excellent and not that ridiculously priced as one may assume.
But as I was grabbing a quick lunch there before I headed to the MGM Grand, I noticed a group of Filipino American Manny Pacquiao fans walk in.
I assumed they were Pacquiao fans since they were all wearing the same Team Pacquiao tank top.
I thought this was pretty cool so I had to take a picture and show all of you back at home.
They are from San Francisco, which to me shows that the Bay Area has more solidarity than the LA area where I am from. I would never see a group of Filipino LA girls all rocking the same Team Pacquiao tank top and represent full force like that at the fights.
They told me they were not able to score tickets to the actual fight since they sold out so fast, so they went to the Mandalay Bay closed circuit viewing route instead.
Many of my friends who flew into Vegas saw the fight at the closed circuit viewing at MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay and said it was like one big huge party there with lots of girls, full bar and people screaming and shouting full of energy for both Marquez and Pacquiao.
I also met another group of Filipino American girls who flew out all the way from New York who had six girls in their group and another group of about five Filipino college-aged chicks who flew in from Florida and who stayed all week from Monday to Sunday.
But what may be even more impressive was the group of about 10 Marquez fans I met shopping at the forum who flew in from Mexico City. They kept asking me how to bet on the fight once they saw my credential around my neck.
If you have been going to the big fights lately, you might have noticed some hard-core fans who not only wear the colors of the fighters' home country flags of Mexico and the Philippines, but some even take it a bit further and wear the flags as a cape like they are a super hero.
Here at the bar of Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill is a man who appears to be Caucasian with a Filipino girlfriend, and he is wearing the Filipino flag as a cape.
It makes a very bold proud statement of who you are supporting and rooting for in tonight's big fight.
On the way to the MGM Grand, I bumped into a Mexican fan who was wearing the Mexican flag as a cape as well. He noticed my credential around my neck and began to talk about the fight with me.
He told me he put down $100 on Marquez by a 12th-round KO. The odds for a Marquez 12th-round KO was at 150 to 1 the night before. If Marquez would have won by 12th-round KO then this man could buy Mexican flag capes for everyone cause that bet would have won him $15,000!!!!
Obviously, the judges ruled it a majority decision for the champion Manny Pacquiao so he and everyone else who thought Pacquiao was going to knock Marquez lost that night.
At the post-fight conference Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero came and sat next to me, and said, hey let me borrow your shades cause I want to wear them when I call out Manny Pacquiao.
I turned to him and said are you serious? Let me get my video camera ready for this then.
He said, yes, he's serious( with a very intense look on his face)...but then he told me he was joking but should really do it.
He also joked about how Bob Arum kept looking at him cause he thought he was about to call out Manny as soon as he came out.
Unlike Bradley who thought Manny won the fight by a few rounds, Guerrero told me he felt Marquez won the fight Saturday night by a unanimous decision.
Robert told me his shoulder is still healing and should be able to get back in full on training by February or March.
I asked him if he injured his shoulder in sparring for the Maidana fight. He told me no. He's had a bad shoulder for quite some time, and it was all the accumulation of punishment he has been enduring ever since.
He then told me he intends to be back in the ring May 5th, 2012. I then say oh on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. under card? And he says no; I want Floyd in the main event!
Will Guerrero be Mayweather's opponent for Cinco De Mayo 2012? Well, it seems there's a better chance for that happening than the obvious biggest fight of our lives, seeing that it now has even more hurdles to jump over with all the controversy and uninspiring performance by Pacquiao in Saturday's fight.
Plus, you add that Guerrero's signed with Golden Boy promotions the same company who Floyd works with to co-promote his fights, makes this more realistic then we may think.
So I began talking to this man who was wearing a Manny Pacquiao jacket with the Philippines flag colors, and it turns out he is one of the producers for Freddie Roach's new reality series on HBO which is slated to air in January 2012.
The show is titled ON Freddie Roach, and it will chronicle the life and times of the legendary five-time trainer of the year and how he lives with Parkinson's disease.
Unlike many reality shows that breathe on the flamboyant lifestyles and over-the-top drama, ON Freddie Roach might very well be actually centered on "reality" and substance and less on that stuff that most reality shows are made of.
Going back to Robert Guerrero, he tells me he has a ton of respect for Roach for he always keeps it real. He also says did you ever see him fight in the ring guy was a monster.
Roach came out after the fight at the post-fight conference by himself which was rather odd. He notified us with the media that Manny was getting stitches on his cuts, and that's what was holding him up from coming to the post fight conference.
Freddie also told us that Manny was experiencing cramps again in his arches, legs and feet from Round 4 on.
When asked about another rematch, Roach admits Marquez deserves one, and that they should fight him again before taking on Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This African-American man...oh wait or should I say African Canadian since he flew in all way from Vancouver, Canada to be at the fight, is a huge Manny Pacquiao fan.
He says he flies down for all of Manny's fights, and as you can see, he is wearing the Manny Pacquiao jacket with the Filipino flag colors.
When I asked him who wins between Pacquiao and Mayweather, he says Pacquiao will knock him out. He then says Floyd is scared to fight him so the fight probably won't happen.
What would Floyd say if he saw this? He'll probably say something xenophobic like this guy ain't American, he's Canadian of course; he don't support me!
It would be interesting to see what this Pacquiao fan thinks now after watching the fight with Marquez later that night?
Does he still think Manny would KO Floyd?
Juan Manuel Marquez is the greatest Mexican fighter of our time. He has proved it once again being the only fighter to really give Manny Pacquiao a run for his money three times in three hard fights.
As soon as this fight was signed, most of the media and fight fans including Mexican fight fans all said Pacquiao was going to easily destroy Marquez this time.
I knew that was totally wrong as I pointed out in our Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: Official Bleacher Report Predictions
Marquez is one of those all-time greats who will unfortunately never get the full on credit he deserves. You saw this as he stormed out of the ring as soon as Michael Buffer announced the judges scores.
Right before the fight, many Mexican fans were even wearing Team Pacquiao shirts and hats and chanting Pacquiao, Pacquiao, Pacquiao in the hallways of the MGM Grand. A lot of these same Mexican fans began to start cheering for Marquez once they saw he was doing well in the fight.
But the problem with his recognition goes even deeper than that for both. Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera would often outshine him when in comparison, even though Pacquiao knocked both of them out very badly too. Marquez arguably beat Manny or at least found a way to always match up with him.
Many view Marquez as not ever getting the love worldwide as Marco Antonio Barrera because of his legendary trainer Nacho Beristain. Nacho did not allow Marquez to fight one of the biggest stars back in 2001 in Prince Naseem Hamed. Marco Antonio Barrera ended up fighting the huge UK international star (Hamed) and owned him in a performance that made him a household name and provided him instant worldwide fame.
Many blame Nacho for Marquez never blowing up at this point of his career for he turned down the Hamed fight.
A similar thing happened again when instead of rematching Pacquiao the second time right after the their first fight, Nacho decided to have Marquez fight Chris John instead in his highly-protective native land of Indonesia in which he lost in that fight, making a fraction of what he would have if he rematched Pacquiao instead.
Saturday night, you can argue that Nacho once again could be to blame for the loss for he repeatedly told Marquez that he had the fight won so to not really open up and engage with Pacquiao.
Nacho is one hell of a trainer, one of the best the sport has ever seen, but he is one horrible manager and adviser. Should Nacho have told Juan to relax cause he has the fight already won? Obviously not. Anyone who thought Marquez could win a decision against Pacquiao with the biggest fight possible on the table against Mayweather does not understand the politics and business of boxing.
The only way Marquez could have won is by a knockout, for no matter what, if it went the distance, Pacquiao would win. (politics and business)
Marquez was impressive in the post-fight conference speaking in English to the media. He was classy, and although upset with the controversial loss, he still remained professional enough to answer all the questions from the media.
He said he will most likely retire because of this loss but is open to a fourth fight with Pacquiao.
When asked about if he'll protest the decision to the WBO, he laughed that off and said he's not that type of person to do that.
Bob Arum said Marquez made a career-high $5 million guaranteed purse. With the upside of the pay-per-view, he will most likely walk away with $10 million in total.
There were times where Juan just stood there frozen in silence and just giving a blank stare to the media. Not sure what was going on in his mind at that point; maybe he was thinking man did I just make $10 million? Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad after all.
The last time we saw Pacquiao cut this bad, needing several stitches right after the fight was...yes the last Marquez fight.
As you can see, he has that bandage right above his right eye after a doctor had given him several stitches for that deep cut.
Many saw the cut from the accidental headbutt from the clash of heads, but again, this hasn't happened since the second Marquez fight.
So just as I mentioned in the introduction, this fight was supposed to answer a lot for us, but unfortunately, it did the complete opposite. It provided us with dozens of new questions that may or may never be answered?
Manny came out by himself to the podium which is very strange. Usually, he is accompanied with his team which includes: Alex Ariza, Freddie Roach, Buboy and even his wife joins him on the post-fight conference stage. But he was solo this time. Why?
Manny explained that he was experiencing cramps again as he did in the Mosley fight, and that's why his performance was as so.
Bob Arum made an announcement and said that there will only be two questions this time asked by the media since Manny is late for his concert performance at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Both questions asked by journalists were not anything to write about nor were their responses from him.
One journalist asked why Marquez is such a difficult opponent for him.
Manny basically explained that Marquez is a good counterpuncher, and he doesn't fight but just waits to counter you.
For the record, I personally had the fight 115 to 113 just as the official judge Dave Moretti scored it. It was a close fight, but neither fighter really dominated or got dominated.
When you are the champion, all close rounds go to the champion, and the challenger must go above and beyond to dethrone the champion. This is why I thought Marquez actually did better in the second fight more so because he was the champion, and Pacquiao was the challenger then.
Again, especially towards the end, Marquez may have been holding back since his trainer Nacho was coaching him.
But let's keep it real everyone, in addition to that, you have to realize with the potential multi-$100 million-plus ultra mega fight of our lifetime on the line (Pacquiao vs. Mayweather), there is no way either Pacquiao or Mayweather will lose a fight if it goes the distance...no way.
Give credit where it's due and that's to both of these warriors. Marquez more so for fighting the way he did at the age of 38 and for giving Manny trouble, problems galore, and for the third time giving him a run for his money.
Would you want to see these guys fight again for the fourth time?
Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/KingJ323