Pacquiao vs. Marquez 1 and the 10 Most Famous Draws in Boxing History
When Manny Pacquiao dropped Juan Manuel Marquez three times in the first round of their bout in 2004, nobody would have expected to see the fight result in a draw, let alone Marquez making it the full 12-round distance.
Marquez did just that, and the bout was left in the hands of the judges. Judge John Stewart had scored it 115-110 for Pacquiao. Judge Guy Jutras scored it 115-110 for Marquez. The determining scorecard saw Judge Burt Clements scoring the fight 113-113, even. The bout had been declared a draw.
With both boxers having their hands raised after what seemed like a short night for the future Filipino superstar, there wasn't a sense that fans would still be anticipating an upcoming third bout between the two seven years later, all of which was sparked from their memorable first fight.
While sometimes inconclusive and disappointing, draws can sometimes be the right decision after an evenly contested bout. Controversial or not, these are the top 10 most famous draws in boxing.
No. 10: Gene Fullmer vs. Joey Giardello
Gene Fullmer took part in several 15-round draws, and his fight with Joey Giardello was the first, and arguably the most brutal. His other two were against Sugar Ray Robinson and Dick Tiger.
For 45 minutes, Fullmer and Giardello battered heads against each other in a foul-filled affair that saw neither man fighting fist-to-face but literally face-to-face. One headbutt led to another, and both boxers retaliated more fiercely then the other had done before.
With bruising and cuts over and under each of their eyes, they made it the distance to hear the bout be declared a draw with the scores 144-142 for Giardello, 145-142 for Fullmer and 145-145.
Post-fight comments from Boxrec.com:
"I bumped him with my head for spite. But he was butting me since the first round. He held my neck. He hit me all over. How did I get hit there (pointing to a raw scrape on the back of his hip)? Was I fighting him backwards?" -Joey Giardello
"Anybody who does a thing like that in a championship fight shouldn't get a rematch."- Gene Fullmer
No. 9: Carlos Monzon vs. Bennie Briscoe 1
Carlos Monzon will go down as one of the greatest middleweight boxers in the history of the sport, and his 87-3 record is one of the most accomplished, which saw him go unbeaten from 1965 till the end of his career in 1977.
Along the way, he picked up nine draws, including his first bout with Bennie Briscoe in 1967. Briscoe was only five years into his career when he faced Monzon in his homecountry of Argentina.
It was Briscoe's first fight outside of the U.S., but he was brought in to test a still-rising Monzon. Despite the threat of a hometown decision, Briscore managed to earn a draw in the bout, and the two wouldn't fight until five years later. This time, Monzon took a clear-cut unanimous decision.
No. 8: Tom Sayers vs. John Heenan
In a career that lasted 16 bouts, bare-knuckle fighter Tom Sayers fought a total of 590 rounds, including his 42-round draw with John C. Heenan in 1860.
Fought in Hampshire, England, the bout lasted two hours and ten minutes and was the first international match to feature an American champion (Heenan) going up against a British champion (Sayers). Many see it as boxing's first world championship.
The general interest in the fight eventually boiled over into having fans and police cutting the ropes and storming into the ring after Heenan tried choking his opponent with one of the ropes. The controversy doesn't end there.
The referee ended up ruling the bout a draw despite each champion's side making the claim that their man had won.
No. 7: Marvin Hagler vs. Vito Antuofermo 1
It took Marvin Hagler six years to get a shot at a world title, but when he finally did, all of his hard work came crashing down when he could only manage a draw versus the very tough Italian Vito Antuofermo in 1979.
The 15-round bout saw Hagler winning the majority of the early rounds but letting the ever-determined Antuofermo getting back into the fight late. The shift in momentum came at the worst time for Hagler, and the end of the fight proved to be the difference when the scorecards were read.
One judge had it 145-141 for Hagler while one saw it for Antuofermo by two points. The third had it 143-143.
Hagler would fight Antuofermo again three years later and win by TKO in Round 4 to retain his newly won WBC and WBA world middleweight titles.
No. 6: Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 1
Not many fights see three knockdowns in the first round without a stoppage, but referee Joe Cortez deemed Juan Manuel Marquez ok to continue, giving him one more chance against Manny Pacquiao during their 2004 bout.
It may have been the most important decision in Cortez's career, and it's one that changed the landscape of boxing's lighter weight classes for years to come.
Marquez would put his ring-savy to the test and quickly adjust to his opponent for the remainder of the fight. As he does in so many fights, Marquez used minor adjustments to quickly counter his opponent's attack.
Pacquiao found himself falling behind on the scorecards despite having a big lead early, and the fight resulted in a draw.
The telling scorecard was 113-113, and it was one that saw judge Burt Clements giving Pacquiao a 10-7 first round instead of a 10-6, as the other two judges did.
They would have a rematch in 2008, but Pacquiao would take the split-decision. They will fight for a third time on Nov. 12.
No. 5: Jack Johnson vs. Battling Jim Johnson
After being convicted of violating the Mann Act, Jack Johnson went to Paris to defend his heavyweight championship versus Battling Jim Johnson in the first HW championship bout contested between two African-Americans.
It was a lackluster bout with neither man taking the initiative to knock out their opponent, or win. An injury sustained by Jack Johnson kept him from using his left hand, and after fighting for the majority of the fight exclusively with his right, the bout was ruled a draw after 10 rounds.
Had this bout been contested in the U.S., Jack Johnson would have been declared the loser by TKO.
Two years later, Johnson would lose his heavyweight title to Jess Willard after being knocked out in the twenty-sixth round.
No. 4: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns 2
The first meeting between two of the very best boxers of their generation—and of all time—had taken place eight years before.
Long after each boxers' best days in the ring, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns met to battle it out for a second time on June 12, 1989.
Leonard was knocked down in Rounds 3 and 7 and almost knocked down in the final round, which ended up being the telling round of the entire fight on all three scorecards. Because Leonard rallied in the 12th round to almost drop Hearns, one judge has scored it 10-9 for him. The other judges scored it 10-9 for Hearns.
It was ruled a draw, but Leonard later admitted he had lost the fight.
No. 3: Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield 1
"This is what's killing boxing"—Emmanuel Steward after one of the more infamous decisions in boxing history.
Lennox Lewis was looking to combine three major world titles when he took on Evander Holyfield for the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles in 1999.
It was one of the most one-sided fights you could ever see and should have never been as controversial as it was. The punch stats show a clear edge for Lewis, who landed 218 more punches over 12 rounds.
For every 29 punches Lewis landed, Holyfield landed 10.
Showtime commentator Steve Farhood called this one of the top-five worst decisions he had ever seen.
No. 2: Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez
At 87-0, Julio Cesar Chavez had a lot to protect going into his bout with Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker in 1993, and luckily, the judges were on his side that night.
For 12 rounds, Whitaker put on a near-perfect display of boxing, speed and ring generalship only to have his victory taken away when the bout was ruled a draw.
The aggressive Chavez got the benefit of the doubt in most of the rounds, and while no judges had him ahead, only one had Whitaker ahead by two points. The other two scored it even at 115-115.
Even Chavez's fans booed the decision knowing Whitaker deserved the victory.
No. 1: Henry Armstrong vs. Ceferino Garcia
There is only one thing to do once you win the featherweight, welterweight and lightweight belts in succession, and that's challenge for the middleweight belt.
In 1940, this means you are fighting for 50 percent of the belts available.
All-time great Henry Armstrong had done it, and he went up against Ceferino Garcia for a chance to win the World Middleweight Title during that year.
The bad news was if Armstrong was unable to knock out his opponent, the bout would be declared a draw.
He didn't, and after 10 rounds, Armstrong lost his chance at becoming a middleweight champion.