By Brad Cronick: If you want to pick out the #1 reason why Manny Pacquiao lost to Juan Manuel Marquez last Saturday night it’s probably due to Pacquiao’s greed. He had Marquez hurt in the 5th round from a hard combination, and he had been working him over in that round and in the 6th. Marquez bleeding, his nose looked broken, and clearly wasn’t going to be able to last very much longer with the pounding he was taking from Pacquiao. But instead of staying patient in the last seconds of the 6th round, Pacquiao rushed Marquez and got hit with a perfect right that knocked Pacquiao completely out. The rest is history.
The lesson here is that Pacquiao had the fight in his pocket had he stayed calm. He didn’t need to rush it, because Marquez was bleeding and falling apart from the pounding he was taking. It just looked like Pacquiao wanted to follow his trainer Freddie Roach’s game plan by fighting Marquez with a lot of aggression, and he took that literally by thinking he should rush him during every part of the fight.
Pacquiao walked into a lot of hard shots from Marquez in the 5th and 6th rounds when he was attacking him aggressively, and you could see that something was going to happen if Pacquiao didn’t start fighting with more control. That style wasn’t right for this version of Marquez because he had spent months adding muscle and strength to his body with his conditioning coach Angel Hernandez, and he was a much stronger fighter than he had been before.
I know Pacquiao reportedly has said that Marquez wasn’t punching any harder than he had in the previous fights between them, but I think that’s a bunch of hogwash. If Marquez was hitting with the same power as before then why was Pacquiao knocked down twice in really hard knockdowns? Those weren’t easy knockdowns. Those were knockdowns where Pacquiao got clobbered and hit the deck as if he had been shot. That kind of thing only happens when you’re fighting a guy with big power, and Marquez didn’t have that kind of effect on Pacquiao in their three prior fights before this one.