Pacquiao gets majority decision; Marquez fans see red!

by Madra Uladh: It ís often said that styles make fights, and tonight, we saw this maxim borne out in the third meeting between Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez. Pac had steamrolled over bigger (some much bigger) opponents in Delahoya, Cotto, Margarito, Clottey and Mosley. But tonight, he certainly didnít overwhelm Marquez in what turned out to a very close, tactical fight.

Both men began very cautious and each appeared to respect the others potential in the early going. Momentum sea-sawed back and forth between the fighters early, with Pac having difficulty figuring out how to deal with Marquezís crisp counterpunching, and Marquez appearing overly cautious at times, mindful of how earlier judges had been swayed by his multiple visits to the canvas.

After eight rounds, I had the bout even.(Pac: 1,3,4,6. Marquez 2,5,7,8.) However, I gave JMM only one round (11) of the last four, for a score of 115-113 in Pacquaio ís favour. Two of the judges saw it about the same way, while one had it even. The judgesí results were greeted by howls of derision from the Mexican-dominated crowd. They felt that their countryman had been robbed, and not for the first time.

While I was in general agreement with the scorecards, there are a number of possible reasons for the disbelief. Pacquaio was widely expected to completely dominate this event, given what he had done to bigger, star-name opponents since their last meeting. That Marquez was not dominated and fought gamely, much better than expected, may well have influenced his fans, giving them the impression he was winning. Marquezís corner certainly felt he was ahead and told him so, perhaps unwisely. If he had pressed on in the final third of the fight, he may well have got a draw or even the decision. Perhaps his corner worried that a final concerted effort by their man might have resulted in Pac getting the opportunity to land a knockdown or even score a KO as Marquez was clearly the more spent of the two late in the fight.

Another possible factor influencing the fans was the blood all over Pacquaioís face. However, the cut was clearly the result of an accidental head-butt by Marquez. Pacquaio was the aggressor and the busier man for most of the fight.

Many boxing fans will undoubtedly feel that Pacquaio is in decline. While he easily took care of Mosley in his last outing, some felt he should have stopped him. Tonightís performance will probably reinforce that impression. Still, itís possible that the styles make fights maxim provides the answer here. Perhaps Marquez would always give Pacquaio problems. Heís certainly been his most troublesome opponent of recent years. Or maybe Pac just had an off-night as happens to most boxers once in a while.

One possible outcome of tonightís less than stellar performance might be that the fight the fans have long demanded, might now come to fruition next Spring. If Floyd Mayweather had hesitation about facing Pacquaio, he will probably have had any lingering doubts dispelled. Contrasting tonightís fight with his own meeting with the Mexican, combined with the potential mega-purse, will surely motivate him to finally sign the contract. And given Floydís and Mannyís respective performances against Marquez, Floyd would now have to be the clear favorite.

Then again, styles make fights !

Article posted on 13.11.2011

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