HBO Classics: Pacquiao vs Marquez III

Boxing Blues

“Most memorable punches that have landed so far in this fight have been Marquez’s shots,” HBO’s Max Kellerman said in the 8th round.

Of all the three fights, I think this is the clearest fight for Marquez. The reason being there was no knockdowns like in the previous two encounters.

I think Marquez for sure won Round 2, Round 3, Round 4 (this was a close round, but I gave it to Marquez due to body shots and the best shot came at the end of the round from Marquez), Round 5 (most significant round for Marquez, perfect straight right hand hurt Pacquiao), Round 6, Round 7 (2nd most clear Marquez round, hard body shots and great right hands from Marquez), Round 8 (great left uppercut, right hook combo from Marquez, and some great straight rights too). The other rounds were debatable and close too. I felt Marquez could have won some of those, but was worried that I would appear too biased. I’m also aware that Pacquiao could have won Round 4 and Round 8, since those were close chapters. I’ve changed my mind on some rounds from before, there was some rounds where Pacquiao landed more but Marquez was landing the stronger, more impactful blows. But really, you can’t just score for Pacquiao just because he was being more aggressive. The HBO analyst Harold Lederman knows more about boxing than I ever will, but I just don’t agree at all with his take on this fight and felt he was rewarding Pacquiao too much for just moving forward, as oppose to Marquez’s great counters or body shots. Effective aggressiveness, meaning you were landing your blows, yes, but a lot of times Marquez was avoiding Pacquiao’s aggression and sneaking in a tight shot to the body or to the face. Defense counts too.

Also, I should probably say to take my scoring with a grain of salt, since I favor Marquez’s style. But even though I favor his style, I can’t help but think and feel that Marquez displayed a higher level of craft in this fight. Marquez fought his fight. I had forgotten that the crowd started chanting “Si se pudo” in the 12th round, meaning they felt Marquez had accomplished his goal, which was awesome but kinda sad knowing what the decision was going to be after I was done rewatching the fight.

For the past eight years, Marquez has had to live with the fact that he is at worst, Pacquiao’s equal. At best, he’s better than Pacquiao, and a significant amount of people (including myself) think he’s proven to be the better boxer in their series. However, America and the rest of the world treats Pacquiao as if he’s the greatest boxer on Earth. Like he has an aura of invincibility. Those decisions for their previous three showdowns, yes they were close, but they have affected not only Marquez’s legacy but his level of stardom and financial earnings.

After the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight, everyone pretty much just treated that result as a joke and went back to treating Pacquiao like the king of boxing, as he makes appearances on late night TV shows, NBA broadcasts, ESPN, etc. When Pacquiao and Marquez go on ESPN to promote their upcoming fight, they practically ignore Marquez to ask Pacquiao about Mayweather and then they ask Marquez who he thinks is better, Mayweather or Pacquiao. Are you serious? Marquez deserves more respect than that, and it’s easy to understand why he has a chip on his shoulder about how some people view him. So that’s why I have no issue with Marquez being very upset and vocal about how the decisions have gone. Not only has sports media downplayed him but also casual boxing fans perceive him as being distant to Pacquiao, which is bogus considering what he’s been able to do in the ring for those 36 rounds with the Filipino superstar. Even if you scored the fight for Pacquiao, you must admit that no one gives Pacquiao a fight like Marquez.

It’s been a great amazing series, it’s a bit sad that it’s coming to an end tonight. Both guys are really amazing talents.

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