The four year, way past due Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez rematch Saturday night (March 15) in Las Vegas, Nevada was well worth the wait, as Pac-Man pulled out the victory in a split decision.
The Filipino superstar, Pacquiao, won a narrow victory over Marquez to win the WBC 130-pound title in a sensational see-saw battle at the Mandalay Hotel & Casino in Vegas — by just one point.
The deciding factor was a third round knockdown of Marquez, who fell to the canvas after catching a short left hook, by Pacquiao, to the chin. He quickly rose, and was staggered by yet another blow just before the bell.
It was the only knockdown of the fight, and Marquez recovered quickly, putting on a spectacular show for fans both Filipino and Mexican. As the bout went on, the boxers traded the momentum several times, with Marquez taking a round or two with his technical style, then Pacquiao taking it back with devastating left hand bombs.
The match was action-packed nearly every round, producing bloody injuries for both fighters who sustained cuts over each of their eyes. Although the injuries seemed to bother both fighters shortly, they shrugged them off and kept fighting.
During the middle and later rounds, Marquez battled back, counterpunching Pacquiao at almost every opportunity, but Manny to will his way back with flurries and combinations.
As mentioned, Pacquiao won by a one point margin and if it wasn’t for the knockdown, which was definitely the deciding factor, the bout could have very much ended in another draw.
Their bout in May 2004 ended in a draw, and while a rematch was expected to take place immediately, fans had to wait four years for this fight.
Now, thanks to Saturday’s fight, there’s a winner, although not by much. Judge Duane Ford favored Pacquiao 115-112 and Jerry Roth called it 115-112 for Marquez, while Tom Miller gave a 114-113 edge to Pacquiao, allowing him to take the win by split decision.
After the fight, Pacquiao admitted that the fight was difficult, mentioning the success of Marquez’s counterpunching as one of the biggest obstacles. Marquez, however, didn’t agree with the decision, saying he felt he should have won.
“I don’t like the decision,” Marquez told HBO’s Larry Merchant in the ring after the fight. “I still feel I am the champion. It was a bad decision. That first knockdown, he got me cold, but then I adjusted my game plan and I thought from then on, I dictated the whole fight. … The people are the best judge, and the people are booing him. I won.”
Despite Marquez’s loss, he showed a lot of heart and proved he’s still very much a force as well entertaining fighter, so there should be fights for him in the future. Also, with Manny expected to move up in weight, Marquez looks to dominate the 130-pound division.
Pacquiao won another major world title in his fourth weight division. While he did not say that it is confirmed that he will move up in weight, he did say that there are plans for the move — after discussions with management and his promoter.
He is expected to move up to 135 pounds and fight WBC lightweight champ David Diaz for his next bout.