Now the only question is will Marquez pass the post fight drug test.
LAS VEGAS � On a night when a star-studded crowd that included
Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney, Dodgers owner Magic
Johnson and hip hop star 50 Cent were seated at ringside at the
sold-out MGM Grand Garden, Juan Manuel Marquez delivered the best
performance of his career.
He knocked Manny Pacquiao out as the sixth round ended, putting the
Filipino superstar out face first on the canvas. Pacquiao had missed a
right and Marquez used his specialty, the counter right hand, to close
He landed the right directly on the chin, putting Pacquiao out cold.
Pacquiao's wife, Jinkee, shrieked out and attempted to get to the
ring. Promoter Bob Arum put his arm around her shoulder to comfort
"I knew Manny could knock me out at any time," Marquez said. "I threw
the perfect punch."
"We always work on that [counter right]. The change in rhythm was
important. We knew he was going to come out aggressive, so we had a
fight plan that was more technique and we were able to capitalize on
it. We knew it would be a very difficult fight, but not an impossible
fight. We had to use our technique and skill and we didn't allow Manny
to connect as he had done." Pacquiao's eyes were not focusing
correctly for several minutes after the bout.
Marquez put Pacquiao down in the third round, also with a right hand,
while Pacquiao put Marquez down in the fifth.
The knockout came at 2:59 of the sixth, a round that Pacquiao likely
would have won had it finished. It was a good round with plenty of
back-and-forth action, but Pacquiao was landing his left regularly.
"He caught me with my hand down," Pacquiao said. "That was an error
and we corrected it. We worked strength, we worked speed and you can
see the result."
"I got hit by a punch I didn't see."
Marquez, who bulked up for the fight, showed a great deal more
firepower. He rocked Pacquiao several times with the right and seemed
to be the stronger puncher.
Pacquiao had made an adjustment that allowed him to land his left with
more regularity. He kept his lead foot outside of Marquez's, and that
opened things for the left.
Marquez, one of the best counter punchers in the sport, connected with
his right but this time, it had more pop than it did in the first
three outings between them.
The result was sweet vindication for Marquez, who complained about the
scoring in each of their first three fights. All three judges had it
47-46 for Pacquiao when the knockout came.
About six minutes after the fight, Pacquiao walked toward Marquez in
the center of the ring, smiled and touched gloves with him.
The men fought three spectacular matches over a seven-year span prior
to Saturday, with each believing he'd swept the other. But neither
could solve the riddle of the other until the fourth match.
Juan Manuel Marquez, from Mexico, left, knocks down Manny Pacquiao,
from the Philippines, in the third round of �
Both spoke prior to the fight of increasing their aggression, with
Marquez going so far as to bulk up his body. He created a stir
pre-fight with his sculpted body, which was bigger than he had ever
Both Marquez and his conditioning coach Angel Guillermo "Memo" Heredia
insisted that it was the result of new training methods and hard work.
Pacquiao said he wanted to fight the way he had in 2004, when he
knocked Marquez down three times in the first round of their first
fight. He was an aggressive, even occasionally reckless, fighter then,
and he vowed before Saturday's fight that he would return to those
Pacquiao went into the bout with the reputation as the power puncher,
but it was clear that he was outgunned this time around.
Pacquiao earned at least $25 million for the bout, Top Rank president
Todd duBoef said. Marquez was guaranteed $6 million and will probably
wind up making around $10 million.