I finally had a chance to see the fight myself, and to be perfectly honest, I saw no robbery.
Robbery is what happened to Paulie Malignaggi in Texas.
Robbery is what happened to Roy Jones in Seoul.
Robbery is what happened to Pernell Whitaker virtually every time he stepped in the ring with a big name opponent.
What happened to Juan Manuel Marquez this past Saturday, was, in my eyes; nothing more than a very close decision loss.
I was actually rooting for Marquez from the get go, and though he succeeded in making Pacquiao look pretty bad at times, he did so at a measured pace that simply couldn’t earn him the win in a 12 round fight.
Throughout the night, Marquez traded rounds with Pacquiao through careful distancing and punch placement.
Pacquiao would attempt to charge in or circle around him with punches, and Marquez would cleverly step just out of range and throw combinations in response.
Few could argue that Marquez landed the more picturesque punches throughout the fight, however as impressive as these were, at times it felt like he was fighting a third of every round.
I hate to say it, but Pacquiao won on my card by virtue of activity and volume punching.
While I tend to favor clean and effective punching when it comes to judging rounds, seeing Pacquiao work from bell to bell with constant combinations was what got him the “W” in my book.
In essence, Marquez remained competitive throughout, however he let too many rounds slip into “either/or” territory.
I had 2 rounds on my card that could’ve gone either way, the first and the sixth, however in judging from my gut; I only awarded the first to Marquez.
In the end, I had Pacquiao winning 115-113.
I don’t know if it was due to physical or psychological reasons, but to me it seemed like Marquez eased off a bit from the 10th on.
I still thought he did enough to win the 11th, though I think we can all agree that, even if he felt he was winning, he likely should’ve imposed his will on Pacquiao just a little bit more throughout the fight.
I know Nacho Beristain was telling him he was winning, so if what he did was a conscious decision, I bet he’s kicking himself over it right about now.
I’m not a big fan of punch stats, as I feel that since official judges aren’t given access to them, they really shouldn’t figure into the proceedings as much as a simple “face value” evaluation, but in the case of this fight I can’t help bring them up.
When Marquez fought Floyd Mayweather, he threw 583 punches and landed only 69.
While one can argue that the reason he threw close to 600 punches was because he needed to “shotgun” his punches in order to land the scant few he did, I find it interesting that he only threw 436 last Saturday night.
Out of those 436, he landed an impressive 138.
The point I’m trying to make, is that Marquez likely should have stepped up the pace in fighting Pacquiao.
As I said before, he seemed to do a lot of waiting in the fight, picking his punches, which proved to be a very effective tactic, but also resulted in him giving away rounds simply due to the intermittent nature of his offense.
When he was in control, he was quite commanding, landing clean punches and putting Pacquiao’s feet out of position, however in between all of this, Pacquiao filled the gap with constant punching.
Marquez threw 150 more punches in a fight in which he lost every round, which is the same effort he likely should’ve brought to this fight.
I fully acknowledge that this entire article is based on my personal opinion, and not any sort of facts.
Any case you could make for Marquez winning is likely as strong as, or stronger than any you could make for him losing.
This fight was very much a case of a snare drum versus a tympani.
One rattles off beats with constant, machine gun rhythm, while the other blasts out booming tones in time with the beat.
Both bring a sweet sound to the table, but it’s up to the ears of the listener to decide which one stands out most.