By Phenyo Molefe: We all bore witness to what transpired on Saturday evening, to that which shook boxing and those who grace its pastures. I took account of the fight as it unfolded before us but have decided to treat the bout to further review and flee from any hurried assumptions, unveiling how it truly unfolded. Having watched all three previous meetings between these combatants just hours before their fourth encounter, I was further shocked by that which has evolved.
Seldom have I heard an audience voice itself as charged as what the masses did, Marquez has found favour with those seeking his redemption.
Although respect is abound Pacquiao and Marquez both have something to prove. The bout begins with some jousting and notable movement by both fighters as they size each other up. Manny throws the jab and quickly follows through with his left, seeking Marquez’s head. Marquez looks to counter Manny as he has done in previous contests and has already begun paying attention to Manny’s body. It looks like this is going to be a better start than what we saw in their second encounter and may very well surpass their third meeting.
Pacquiao round (10-9)
Marquez attempts to land some gliding left hooks, which Pacquiao avoids with his brilliant footwork. Emmanuel Stewart often remarked that seldom has he seen a fighter with as much movement as Pacquiao presents. Tonight Pacquiao is moving but in more controlled fashion, he has avoided serious punishment from Marquez’s straight right. Thus far, I have Pacquiao landing the cleaner shots. Marquez has enjoyed some success with spearing body blows but has been unable to tag Manny with any notable head shots.
Pacquiao round (10-9);
Pacquiao throws an effective straight left as he resurrects some of his darting movement. Marquez issues left hooks to the body in an attempt to slow him down to an acceptable pace. With just a minute to go, Marquez lands a perfectly timed overhand right and drops Pacquiao to the canvas. He threw so many of those in their first and second fight and in no way did they ever have such an effect on Manny. Manny appears not to be stunned; but with a minute remaining Marquez takes firm control of the round as Manny pays more caution in his assault. I am surprised to see the notable power in Marquez’s right, was it a fluke or are we yet to see more of these bombs.
Manny opens the round with more caution, seemingly taking a tactical reassessment. Although Marquez misses some flush straight rights; he remains intent on pelting the Pacquiao body in every opportune turn. I am certain Nacho must be pleased about his charge’s early work to the body. Pacquiao resumes stalking his opponent, and is throwing the upper cut with more frequency on the inside. This was a close round, Marquez punctuated his efforts with a head snapping flurry at the end of the round, however on sheer volume and effective aggression Pacquiao takes this one.
Manny continues his momentum, belting out his straight left with increased frequency. I have not seen Pacquiao move so well since their second encounter. He punches and moves out of range of Marquez’s counters. A Pacquiao left forces Marquez to touch the canvas with his gloves as he attempts to balance himself, that’s a knock down in Manny’s favour. Pacquiao jumps right back onto Marquez and is soon caught with a notable right hand. (Although previous fights have allowed him to swallow these with ease he must be cautious, Marquez is pressing those with more confidence and frequency.) Pacquiao refuses to step back and returns with his own venom. With 42 seconds left on the clock, Pacquiao comes in to land a superb combination ended with a right upper cut rendering Marquez on a wobbly lane. I am not surprised to see the Mexican gladiator refusing to hold as he fires his own engines while the Philippine typhoon lands penetrating lefts.
Ladies and gentlemen we have a battle on our hands, and blood on our screens. This may yet prove to be the best we have seen between these two gladiators. Without any doubt Pacquiao dominated this round, I might even be tempted to make it 10-7; he almost decapitated Marquez in his unforgiving fire storm.
Pacquiao (10 -8)
How Marquez managed to stay up in the last round is a mystery to me, but anyone who knows this fighter knows that surrender is not his forte. Pacquiao goes back to work on his bloodied opponent and Marquez continues to fight back. Marquez is active and manages to land some clean shots but he is having trouble containing Pacquiao and his movement. With 10 seconds to go, Pacquiao lands yet another sweet combination and darts of out range. As the clock winds down, he comes in for another kill and BOOM, Marquez clocks Pacquiao with jolting right and sends him to the canvas, cold. The crowds are in a frenzied storm, the air rises yet Pacquiao will not rise to unheard count.
Although I had Pacquiao easily leading that round, that overhead shot sent Pacquiao down in stunning fashion. I would have never predicted a knock out by Marquez.
I give praise to both these warriors for granting us a series of fights which will forever be imprinted to boxing’s history. I salute Manny Pacquiao; he never ducked his most challenging opponent and although it has cost him, respect him I still do. Marquez has created his own story and a warning to all.
Has it all changed, the truth is, tonight Marquez’s right was more powerful than anything Manny could muster, and those two rights changed it all. In their earlier bouts there was no means Marquez possessed with which he could hurt Pacquiao in the manner we witnessed on Saturday. If Marquez can do to Pacquiao what Pacquiao has done unto some of boxing most notable names, then the boxing game has ‘evolved’. Marquez broke Mexico’s nightmare, Marquez is now a revised force, and Marquez can now, knock you out. The boxing has evolved and now questions of a mystery are abound.