Indeed it was a very close fight and one where I think a draw would be acceptable. But given the win by majority decision of Pacquiao being questioned by many, I didn’t expect to have a different opinion until I watched the whole fight 2 days later where I could rewind and playback moments of the fight. The final scores were: 114-114, 115-113, 116-112 in favor of Manny Pacquiao. Both fighters had injuries but there were no knockdowns from either fighter in the whole fight. Overall, Pacquiao was not as aggressive as his previous fights but he also knew Marquez well than any of us and I think he was careful and fought with more strategy keeping in mind his opponent’s strength in counter-punching.
So why did I say Manny did deserve the win? Let’s look at this more objectively:
1. Manny had better statistical performance.
Not by much but Paquiao threw more punches and had more landed in. Marquez got a little bit more accuracy but this is boxing and not archery so more landed punches are better.
2. Juan Marquez got complacent in the last round when his trainer told him he’s winning.
Careful he doesn’t catch you with one punch and you down. Because then everything will be drop but you’re winning!…….the fight is yours! -Marquez’s Trainer to Marquez before the 12th round.
His trainer shouldn’t have said this. Unless he is a judge or can see into the future, he shouldn’t plant ideas in his fighter’s head. His advice caused Marquez to play the last round safely thinking he had the fight but it may have actually cost him as Pacquiao did not let up in the last round. When the last round ended, Marquez was throwing his hands up and jumping up and down the ropes thinking he had won while Pacquiao went back to his corner to pray as he always does whether win or lose.
In contrast, Pacquiao’s own trainer just told him to go out there and fight.
3. Marquez steps on Pacquiao several times in the fight.
Its arguable whether this is intentional or not. Marquez never really looked down on Pacquiao’s foot but some say you don’t need to if you have planned and practiced to fight dirty. Some say its natural because Manny is a southpaw. Either way, it did happen whether intentional or not.
4. Marquez gave Pacquiao a headbutt in the 10th round.
Again, intentional or not, this did happen. The sports commission confirmed it. The headbutt caused a major cut in Pacquiao’s right eyebrow. Even if this was not scored, the hurt and pain it will cause Manny for the next few rounds is there.
5. Marquez gave a flashier performance, Manny was more consistent.
While both fighters were conservative throughout, Marquez did show more flashier punches. Great punches that would make excellent replays and Internet pictures. However if you look closer and objectively, Pacquiao gave back enough counter punches as well though not as great looking.
If Marquez had been able to knockdown Manny, that would be a different story. Since it didn’t, this is not the movies and flashier moves does not mean a better fight even if it does look better on TV.
All in all, this 3rd fight between Manny and Marquez did nothing to forever define who is the better fighter. There is an humor image circulating in the social networks on this. I would have been content if the fight was a draw but I think the judges got it right this time. Especially the one that gave the 115-113 score as indeed this is a close one.