Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel fought for the fourth time, this time on Saturday evening at the MGM, and this scrap was the best of the four. Marquez, blood pouring from his nose, having been knocked down in the fifth, landed a counter right, and it sent Manny to the mat, face first. He didn't arise to beat the count. The end came at 2:59 of the sixth for the Filipino.
The sight of Manny, face buried in the canvas, motionless, was a shocker, and likely wins Marquez the BWAA fighter of the year award.
Shall we book the fifth fight, friends?
After Marquez said he would consider a fifth fight. Manny smiled as he talked to Larry Merchant. Did he get careless? Yes, he said. Manny said he didn't see the punch, and was overconfident in the round. He watched the KO replay, eating the right over a slipped jab. He said Marquez is not easy to hit or stop. "I did my best, but that's boxing, that's sports," he said. Was he too aggressive? No, he said, he just got overconfident, he reiterated. He said he didn't expect that punch at that time. Will he continue? Yes, and a rematch is a "good fight. If they give me the chance we will fight again," he said.
Marquez shocked Manny fans with a knockdown of the Congressman in the third, but before and after that, Manny looked sharp, and mobile and like the "old" Manny.
Pacquiao (54-4-2; age 33, turns 34 on Dec. 17; from the Philippines) was 147 and 151 today, and Marquez (54-6-1; age 39; from Mexico) was 143 on Friday, and 148 on fight night.
In the first, Manny landed a few clean, hard shots, and looked active and energized. He moved his head more then we'd seen recently and Marquez wasn't that peppy.
In the second, Manny again was sharp and quick. A one-two landed clean on Marquez' face, and the Mexican didn't look warmed up.
In the third, a long right sent Manny down. There was 1:04 left. Manny's head cleared but he lost the round. Left hooks to the body were landing before that for JMM.
In the fourth, Pacman got back to work. He looked to land uppercuts. There were some solid trades in this one. Nacho Beristain asked for more attacking and combo after the round.
In the fifth, a left sent Marquez down. His left glove touched. There was 1:40 left. JMM got buzzed with less than a minute left. A right hook did that damage.
In the sixth, blood poured from the Mexican's nose. But a right hand put Manny on his face.
Check back for David Avila's ringside report.