Veteran Juan Manuel Marquez erased the one shadow left on his Hall of Fame career with one punch in front of an electrified sold out crowd when he knocked out Manny Pacquiao inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in what will go down as knockout of the year, perhaps fight of the year, and most definitely the most concussive and perhaps best of the four bouts between the top fighters.
“I am very happy with this victory… this victory brought justice to (us), and it was for the entire country of Mexico“, said Marquez, who thanked his nation for supporting him and stated that the win was for them. Marquez said he felt great after finally registering a knockdown against his rival after being knocked down four times himself in the series and ranked the win the finest of his career.
The fight started out par for the course in the first three rounds, with both fighters fighting on the same even terms of the previous affairs, but the knockdown scored by Marquez opened up the action and Pacquiao downed Marquez later in the fight, only to be caught picture perfect by a counter punch that Marquez threw and Pacquiao walked into.
“If you lose a fight, it don’t mean anything,” said fighter Bob Arum just minutes after Pacquiao, who was knocked down in round three, only to score a knockdown in the fifth and then be stopped by Marquez with one click left in the sixth round and a final tally of a 2:59 KO.
The promoter relayed that the fighters gave the audience what they wanted, and a loss does not mean that Pacquiao will not again produce a quality fight in 2013. Arum stated that Pacquiao said after being stopped and scoring his second loss of 2012, (decision L Timothy Bradley June 2012) that the Congressman wished to continue with his fistic career and not retire.
Marquez had to settle for disputed decisions that went in Pacquiao’s favor three straight times in previous bouts, but in the fourth match, Marquez scored the most definitive win in the series, one thought to be a dud in the eyes of many in the lead up to the fourth bout in a rivalry that has spanned almost a decade. The win marked Marquez as the first of the fighters to 55 wins with a mark of 55-6-1, and Pacquiao fell to 54-5-2.
I thought we were fighting a good fight, and Manny ran into one,” said Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who stated that his fighter was caught with a counter punch that he estimated to be a ‘two inch punch’. Roach was asked if Marquez’ power played a part, and stated that JMM was a lot stronger and more physical than in the previous three fights.
Roach stated he would love to have a rematch when speaking to reporters, and agreed that Marquez’ punching has been the one Achilles heel the entire series, and which produced the dramatic, knockdown filled fight.
Marquez trainer Nacho Beristain, a Hall of Fame corner worker just like his counterpart Roach, said that his fighter is one of the finest ever.
Pacquiao was absent from the post-fight presser as he was sent to the hospital for a CT scan and Marquez had a broken nose and was having problems breathing but still spoke after the fight from the press room of the MGM Grand.
Marquez was asked about a possible fifth fight in the series, and stated he is not thinking about any fight and that he plans to enjoy his win with his family before thinking of a ring return.
The HBO PPV, which will tally at least one million buys, sold out the MGM and sold strong closed circuit sales, will be re-aired next week on regular subscription HBO.