In Lieu of the Trilogy, Marquez vs. Pacquiao 1 Fight Recap

By Karim ‘Kato’ Godfrey: Every now and again two fighters enter the ring and put on an amazing performance. The crowd, the media and the commentators are totally engulfed in the moment and the only bad part about the entire affair is that one of those fighters has to lose. May 8th, 2004 was just such a day.

A mere 6 months prior, Manny took on and beat Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera. With an ambitious fight schedule Manny then set his sights on the second most dangerous Mexican, Juan Manuel Marquez. The HBO analysts were all enamored with the Filipino warrior and waited anxiously for the fireworks to start. Manny was a significant favorite to win and the first round of the fight looked exactly as it was supposed to be scripted. However, Juan Manuel Marquez never cooperated. After being dropped 3 times during the first round, Marquez readjusted after the third round and countered Manny the rest of the way.

On November 12th, 2011 the trilogy will be complete. With the two previous fights being so close, I had to re-watch them and dissect each and every round. After re-watching the fight several times, there is no way in my book, Marquez won the first fight. In lieu of their November trilogy, here is my take and recap of the entire first fight. There were several close rounds that could’ve gone either way but even if I gave Marquez Rnd. 4, 5, 8 & 11; Pacquiao still pulls it out. (Please note, the judge who scored the fight 113/113 admitted he did not score round 1 a 10/6 round as he was supposed to given the fact that Marquez was dropped 3 times.)

1. Round 1: no doubt went to Pacquiao with a huge 10 – 6 margin. (Rnd. 1 to MP)
2. Round 2: wasn’t as close as the commentators made it seem. Marquez was still dusting off the cobwebs and Manny was calm, cool and collected. (Rnd. 2 to MP)
3. Round 3: Marquez made in ring adjustments and countered Manny’s aggressive power shots throughout the round. (Rnd. 3 to JMM)
4. Round 4: This was a very close round. Manny controlled the first minute or so of the round and Marquez came back with some great counters. I gave this round to Manny because even though he took some big shots from Marquez, Manny always answered every shot right back and continued pressuring the entire rest of the round. (Rnd. 4 to MP, easily could’ve gone to JMM)
5. Round 5: Manny got staggered a bit with 1:30 left in the round but came right back and caught Marquez with a stiff 1,2 and finished the combination with a straight left. With 28 seconds left in the round, Marquez pressed the action and caught Manny on the ropes with two straight rights that. Manny was off the ropes in no time and fired some shots of his own. This was a really close round to call. (Rnd. 5 to MP, easily could’ve gone to JMM)
6. Round 6: Hard straight right stuns Pacman at the 1:40 mark of the round. Marquez controlled this round with precise counter shots. (Rnd. 6 JMM)
7. Round 7: Manny kept the pressure on Marquez throughout the round. Manny made out better during most of the exchanges. (Rnd. 7 to MP)
8. Round 8: Another very close round. The round was still up for grabs with 1:00 remaining. Manny started to box a little more and kept pressure on Marquez with the jab, jab, straight left which landed almost every time. However, Marquez was able to counter and pressured Pacman a bit more in this round. (Rnd. 8 to JMM)
9. Round 9: The round was pretty even but Manny maintained the pressure and was able to land the jab and hook several times. Manny was the more energetic of the two and landed the harder shots when the flurries started to fly. (Rnd. 9 to MP)
10. Round 10: Pacquiao continued applying the pressure as Marquez continued the counter attack. Pacman still looked the fresher fighter and kept on his toes as he bounced and moved side to side and found his range again and landed consecutive straight lefts. Marquez did well also because he was always ready to fire back as soon as he got tagged. (Rnd. to MP)
11. Round 11: Started out much the same way with Manny pressuring and Marquez counterattacking. This was the first round where Marquez looked really dominant as he landed the better shots and made out better during exchanges. (Rnd. 10 to JMM)
12. Round 12: Marquez started out the round landing big straight rights as Manny turned it up a notch with 1:30 left in the round with big winging left hooks. Marquez held his own but Manny landed the stiffer shots and came out better during the exchanges. (Rnd. 12 to MP)

This fight was the fight that put Marquez over and made him a household name. Despite it being a draw, Marquez had never been in such a drama filled fight his entire career and he performed well and much better than most anticipated. Marquez has been performing at this level ever since and is still a dominant force at 135 lbs. He is constantly taking on the best level of competition in his division and has even exposed a few promising up and comers like Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. His only loss within the past 3 years came at the hands of boxing wizard Floyd Mayweather Jr. So, why are some people not giving Marquez the benefit of the doubt in his upcoming trilogy against Pacquiao? Yes he is 39 years old but, didn’t Hopkins prove that age is just a number? Yes he doesn’t perform well above 140 lbs. but, I doubt anyone other than Pacquiao could perform well against Mayweather at any weight. Marquez is the first fighter I’ve seen take it to Pacman the way he did. Sometimes a fighter just has another fighters’ number. Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones and Vernon Forest vs. Shane Mosley were just such encounters.

I hope my opinions and analysis will clear the misconception that Marquez was robbed of a win because there is no way he won the first fight. History has a way of leaving out the details and blurring reality to suit an agenda. The proof is out there, re-watch the fight for yourselves and let me know who you think really won. I will provide a recap of the second fight next week and hope people realize that this trilogy needs to happen. Who knows, this could be the one to win Fight of the Year 2011.

Article posted on 07.06.2011

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