Juan Manuel Marquez Robbed In Las Vegas! Arum Wants Marquez-Pacquiao IV

By James Slater: So much for Manny Pacquiao ending all arguments by winning a decisive victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in their third meeting. Last night’s majority win for Pac-Man asked way more questions than it gave us answers. Just who is the better fighter of the two - the Filipino superstar or the Mexican hero?

Last night’s fight, for me, showed three things: Pacquiao has lost a step, he is no longer the speed demon we have grown accustomed to seeing, and Marquez will always have his number. Did Marquez deserve the win last night? For me, definitely. For what it’s worth, I had it a wide eight rounds to four for the amazing 38-year-old. Doubtless a lot of fans agreed with me, seeing how there was plenty of booing to be heard inside the MGM Grand as the decision was announced.

Marquez, amazingly, was the faster fighter of the two, he had the sharper, more accurate punches - his right hand to the head proving to be a nightmare for Pac-Man, bang on target as it was all night long - and the older man even took Pacquiao to school on occasion. Pacquiao’s balance was poor, his punches fell short at times and he looked a frustrated, even demoralised fighter at the end of the engrossing 12 rounds.

Marquez stormed out of the ring as soon as the cards were read out, and who can blame him? Many fans and experts had “Dinamita” winning the previous two fights with Pacquiao, yet the 2004 and 2008 bouts were mighty close. Last night’s fight was not close: Marquez was flat out robbed. Esteemed U.K boxing pundit Steve Bunce, a studio guest for Prime Time, went as far as to say he will be shocked if last night’s decision is not investigated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

No way will the decision be overturned, but an inquiry may happen anyway. Pacquiao said post-fight how he knew he’d won clearly, and his promoter Bob Arum was all smiles after the fight. Deep down, however, I’m sure both men know Marquez was the real winner last night. Freddie Roach also has to know his fighter lost.

But what next for the Pound-for-Pound king (is Pacquiao actually still deserving of such a lofty distinction?) and Marquez? Arum, beaming as he spoke, talked of his desire to “smash all box office records” with a fourth instalment of Pacquiao Vs. Marquez. Arum spoke of having the fight next May. Aside from winning by a clean KO, though, what chance will Marquez have of having his hand raised in a fourth fight? And where will Floyd Mayweather turn if Pacquiao fights Marquez again, instead of facing him in the fight we have been asking for for years?

Mayweather also wants to fight in May: will Arum look to upstage “Money” by hosting Pacquiao-Marquez IV that same month, also in Vegas? For the first time, I’m now convinced Mayweather will beat Pacquiao. No longer the ferocious, unstoppable dynamo he was a year or two ago, Pacquiao has slowed down sufficiently for Mayweather to be able to take him. Was this what the canny Mayweather was waiting for all the time?

The final world must go to the quite brilliant Marquez. What he did last night was truly remarkable - even if the three judges didn’t think so. Despite failing to get the win, Marquez still shook up the sport big time.

Article posted on 13.11.2011

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