For years, Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) has claimed to be a better boxer than Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), and he finally proved it on Dec. 8, knocking the Filipino congressman out cold at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
It was the first time Juan Manuel Marquez emerged victorious against his arch rival.
Neither man established their dominance in the opening round, but Pacquiao started landing hard shots in the second round. Marquez quickly made the necessary adjustments and he sent Pacquiao to the canvas in the third round.
“Dinamita” punished Pacquiao some more in the fourth round, but Manny dug down deep and turned things around in the fifth, sending Marquez to the canvas. He brutalized the Mexican for the remainder of the round, bloodying his nose in the process.
Determined to win the fight, Juan Manuel Marquez regained his composure in the sixth round, and he caught Pacquiao flush with a straight right, knocking the Filipino congressman out cold. Pacquiao remained motionless on the canvas for several minutes, while his wife Jinky cried hysterically at ring-side.
“We had to use our technique and our skill,” Marquez said during the post-fight interview with Larry Merchant. “It was very important not to let Manny connect.”
With the vicious loss to Marquez, Pacquiao’s legacy will never be the same, and his days of being called one of the pound-for-pound best boxers in the world are clearly over.
For years, boxing fans have fantasized about a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather super-fight, but that’s clearly off the table now. Mentioning Pacquiao’s name in the same sentence with Mayweather is blatant disrespect to boxing’s pound-for-pound king, who made Marquez look like amateur.
In my opinion, the potential Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight was highly overrated, as it probably would’ve have turned out to be a one-sided affair with “Money” dominating the action.
It’s somewhat sad to watch, but the Manny Pacquiao era is officially over.