Photos by Julie Jacobson
What I witnessed last Saturday night through the magic of television, I would have never believed it would happen in my lifetime. If Jesus Christ mounted on a unicorn rode out of a UFO parked in my front yard, that would have been more believable than seeing ten-time world champion Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38KOs) laid out from a ferocious over-hand right from Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez (55-6-1, 40KOs) with only a second to go to end the sixth round of their fourth fight.
When Marquez scored the first knockdown of the Filipino congressman in the third round from a similar right after feinting to the body, I thought that if he lost the fight, he would at least go down in history as the man that dropped the great southpaw for the first time in the last thirteen years. When the knockout came 9 minutes later, the roar that could be heard across Mexico was hard to ignore.
I have to be honest, when this fight was still announced, I wasn’t a supporter of it. I had seen enough. I believed if anything, Pacquiao should have gone after Timothy Bradley and seek revenge for the controversial loss he suffered last June.
I am glad I was wrong.
What we saw on Saturday night was the sweet science in the purest form. We always hear the cliche “styles make fights” but in this case, there is nothing more true. Both fighters are perfect foils for each other. Once you think that Marquez is pulling away, Pacquiao lands a quick as lighting straight left to the nose that makes it gush like it he just struck oil and when you think that the “PacMan” is putting the finishing touches on a sure to be knock out win, Marquez lands the “shot heard around the world”.
Forget Bobby Thompson.
It was no secret that some how, some way, Marquez bulked up his physique. In the lead up to the fight, it was whispered by many in the media and fans alike that he might be using illegal substances especially after the true identity of his strength and conditioning coach was discovered. Truth be told, it is the same rumors that pestered Pacquiao as he made his ascend to the stratosphere of the sport after debuting as a strawweight seventeen years ago. The difference is that Marquez began his career as a 122 pounder and until something is proven, the rumors only act as a slap to the face to a fighter that has never had any issues, now or in the past.
Its not like Team Pacquiao pushed for a VADA type testing, did they?
What does the future hold for these two fighters? A rematch? Before the last fight if somebody would have told me that the boxing world would be calling for a fifth face off between the two, I would have tried to karate chop them in the throat.
Now I welcome it.
Now if Pacquiao feels that he has had enough, that he would like to dedicate the rest of his life to his new found faith and his political aspirations, I wouldn’t blame him and I am sure that I as well as the rest of the sporting world would applaud his decision and his unprecedented career.
For Marquez, I see the end near, maybe by the end of 2013 but not before giving us two or three more memorable fights. I would love to see him against Danny Garcia or more realistically, Brandon Rios, two fighters that with his counter punching style, he has more than a great chance of beating.
Or in the best ending possible, the fight for the fifth time and knock each other out a la Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed….
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