By Ryan O’Hara
The attention was all on Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez for their fourth bout on Saturday, December 8th. They had three well contested bouts, but no clear winner. Marquez and most of his fans believe that he had won all three fights. Manny Pacquiao and most of his fans believe that the three knockdowns he scored in the first bout, and the single knockdown he scored in the second were enough for the victory, but the third had them up on their heels. Marquez and his team had the third bout easily, but they made a huge strategical error in the 11th and 12th rounds. Marquez’s trainer Ignacio Berinstain told his fighter that he was winning and that he could take the final two rounds off. It cost him the bout, and Manny Pacquiao squeaked out a majority decision win as one referee saw the fight even at 114-114.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
Both fighters wanted to end this rivalry on a high note and win by KO. Marquez hired a former PED dealer as his strength and conditioning coach, and Pacquiao promised to return to his all-out action style. However; it was this style that got Pacquiao into trouble against Marquez in their first two bouts which took place in 2004 and 2008. Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round of their first bout, but Marquez survived to dominate the rest of the fight, but the fight was called a split draw. Who would come out the victor?
The sold out MGM Grand Garden Arena were on all their feet as the fight began and right away it was Manny Pacquiao making the most out of Marquez. Marquez looked extremely slow, but also looked dangerous as he began to flex the new muscle he had gained during training camp. Pacquiao used an effective lead jab to keep Marquez where he was, but he was being reckless by leaving himself open to a counter punch.
The second round was more of the same as Pacquiao continued to jab and hook Marquez backwards, but this is where Marquez’s trainer could see Pacquiao’s weakness. As slow as Marquez was during the first few rounds, it was only apart of his game plan to make Pacquiao become overconfident. By the end of the second round, Marquez was already bleeding heavily from the face, and his nose was clearly broken. While behind on the scorecards, Marquez blocked a Pacquiao hook and responded with a powerful right hand counter punch that put Pacquiao on the canvas. On wobbly legs, Pacquiao was able to survive the round, but had lost the lead that he had gained through the first two rounds.
Pacquiao came right out of the gate in the fourth doing exactly what he did to get himself in trouble. Marquez didn’t seem to have any answers, and blood continued to pour from his face as the two had a very back and forth round, but the speed of Manny Pacquiao was able to stay away from the power of Marquez. This was another Pacquiao round.
The sixth round had to be the defining round of the fight as Pacquiao and Marquez both went all-out at each other looking for the knockout, but Pacquiao’s speed kept backing Marquez off. With his back against the ropes, Pacquiao carelessly tried to knock out Marquez and was brutally hit with a right-handed counter hook from Marquez that he did not see. Marquez had avenged the three previous fights which all did not go in his favor. Marquez was the new WBO Welterweight Champion of the World. All of a sudden, the doors opened for Marquez, and the doors closed for Pacquiao. A fifth fight is already in discussion, but Pacquiao may retire.