Experts had a tough time trying to predict the outcome of this fight. Some went with the power and speed of Manny Pacquiao. Others placed their bets on the precise counter punching of Juan Manuel Marquez. Either way, it was going to be a knockout, or at least a controversial decision, as the appropriate ending for the bout. But never did it cross any of the millions of boxing fans that it would be a draw.
But then again. It could be the judges' way of saying that both fighters deserved to win the unification bout. Pacquiao needed to win to validate his monumental win over Marco Antonio Barrera last Nov 15. Juan Manuel Marquez needed to win to claim the respect that has long been due him in the featherweight division. Both fighters were hungry. And a draw would be the only way to satisfy the needs of both Pacquiao and Marquez.
The PacMan delivered his signature power left hands during a one-sided first round. It could have been over right from the very start. Marquez just couldn't seem to contain Manny's left hand. After the third knockdown, Marquez continued to recieve more left hands as the bell practically saved him from the humiliation of a first round TKO. But the fight had just started. After Pacquiao won the second round by a slim margin, Dinamita started connecting with his counter punches as he drove Pacquiao back.
Throughout the middle rounds, Marquez dominated Pacquiao as the Ring Magazine Featherweight Champion had trouble closing in on Marquez to deliver his blows. It seemed as though Pacquiao had lost the power and speed which brought him to where he is now. As Marquez piled up the points and was on the way to a stunning comeback, Pacquiao connected once again with his power lefts during the later rounds and caused some damage on the seemingly groggy Marquez. As the final bell sounded, both fighters raised their arms and hugged each other. Both felt that they had done enough to bag the win.
Pacquiao delivered with his left hand and showed the same aggresiveness which he used to dismantle Barrera. Marquez proved his accurate counter punching skills against a tough opponent in Pacquiao. It was a classic matchup between the aggresor against the counter puncher. The rightie versus the leftie. The people's hero and the underrated challenger.
And it ended in a draw. It was an anticlimactic end to a fight that had the hype to be the fight of the year.
Some felt that Marquez won. He showed enough poise and heart to come back from three knockdowns and force Pacquiao back.
Some felt that Pacquiao won. He knocked down Marquez three times in the opening round and should have bagged enough points to win the decision. Had Judge Clements scored the first round 10-6 instead of the 10-7 he gave, it would have been a split decision win for Pacquiao. Had Pacquiao not suffered pains in his left hand and right leg, he would have easily dismantled Marquez in the earlier rounds.
I'd like to give credit to the person who thought of the slogan for the Pacquiao-Marquez bout. "Hearts and Fists on Fire" was an accurate and appropriate one.
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