Talk about a close call. Manny Pacquiao barely defeated Juan Manuel Marquez over the weekend in a 12th round decision that left many boxing fans crying foul. The judges’ scorecards gave the Filipino welterweight champ a slight edge, particularly after a strong performance during the first round.
The problem is, many sports analysts believe that Marquez held the lead for remaining eleven rounds and were genuinely shocked when Manny was crowned the winner. People in the stands were so upset with the decision that drinks and food were thrown into the ring after the announcement was made.
“Honestly, the result of this fight has me thinking about retirement,” Juan Manuel told reporters. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years. I prepared myself very well for this fight. I worked really hard. This was the biggest fight of my career. We were hoping that the judges would see the fight the way that it happened, not the way that they saw it.”
Saturday’s bout was actually the third time that Marquez and Pacquiao faced off in the ring. Each of their previous fights had gone the distance, leading to 12th round decisions and even a draw during their first battle back in 2004.
So, as you can imagine, anticipation was huge leading up to Saturday night. Juan Manuel bulked up to 142 pounds while he was training and he certainly delivered some devastating blows. Boxing analysts praised Marquez’ swift moves and jab techniques during the match (he reportedly landed 176 of 578 punches throughout the 12 rounds).
Interestingly, Juan Manuel’s finest performance came during the final round. His combos left Manny bruised and bloody by the time the bell rang. In fact, when it ended, Pacquiao literally knelt in the corner and began to pray while Marquez lifted his fists in victory.
But apparently the officials disagreed. Two out of the three judges favored Manny as the winner, leading Juan Manuel and his trainer to angrily storm out of the ring.
We imagine sports bloggers will be analyzing this fight for weeks to come, making the legendary rivalry grow even stronger. Pacquiao/Marquez rematch, here we come!
By Michael Lopez