There were so many great and decorated fighters in attendance at The Hall of Fame ceremony in Canastota over the weekend. Floyd Mayweather was overcome by emotion as he took to the podium, while fellow inductees Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, James Toney, Andre Ward, Wladimir Klitschko and others enjoyed their time (although former heavyweight king Wlad did have some harsh things to say to Roy Jones, Klitschko unable to attend in person due to the ongoing Ukraine conflict; Wladimir sending a message via video – Klitschko questioning Jones’ “moral compass” due to his connections to Russia).
Mexican great Marquez, 56-7-1(40) sat down with Showtime and the 48 year old recalled his incredible ring career. Not surprisingly, Manny Pacquiao’s name came up, and “Dinamita” spoke about the four epic battles he and “Pac Man” engaged in. Officially, Marquez and Pacquiao went 2-1-1, with Pacquiao winning the series, but Marquez closed the rivalry in shocking style, icing Pacquiao with THAT right hand in the sixth round of fight IV.
Today, Marquez calls Pacquiao “the best opponent of my career,” yet he feels he deserved the win in each of the four fights. The first fight was a draw, with Marquez doing incredibly well to get through the very first round, being decked three times as he was (never has a fight shown how foolish the three-knockdown rule really is!), while Pacquiao won fights two and three via close, fiercely debated decision. And we all know what happened in the finale.
But Marquez feels he did enough to have won the decision in fights two and three.
“Yes, I think I won the first three fights [with Pacquiao] and the boxing fans think the same,” Marquez said. “They were close fights; I got my pen and my sheet, and I scored every round. I think I won the four fights. The second fight was a close fight, but I think I won it. The fourth fight, there was no doubt. People say it was a lucky punch. It wasn’t. I trained for the fight; I worked on that punch, I practised that punch so much. I knew I needed to win by knockout. The reason there was no fifth fight is because it would have been just for money. This was not good for me or for the Mexican fans. I got my victory.”
Marquez ended this special rivalry with a bang and though Pacquiao won the series, Marquez got the satisfaction of being the only man to have won by way of a KO. But those second and third fights, they were about as close as you could imagine. Who deserved the decision in the middle fights of the most intense rivalry of the era?