Manny Pacquiao has lost twice over the past year. The two defeats couldn’t have possibly been more different from one another. Whereas the former champ’s loss to Timothy Bradley was the byproduct of questionable judging and peculiar scoring, his stunning defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez was completely his fault. There were a lot of arguments and debates following the Bradley match about how Pacquiao was robbed – you didn’t hear that after the Marquez fight.
That’s the beauty of knockouts – they offer a definitive answer as to who the better man is.
Once people came to terms with Pacquiao’s most recent loss, the biggest question anyone had was: how did this happen? How did a savvy, respected veteran walk into a picture perfect counter with one second remaining in the sixth round? That is something Freddie Roach has asked himself numerous times over the past two months, and in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, he broke down specifically what occurred in the final minute leading up to that now infamous KO blow.
"When you have a lefty [Pacquiao] fighting a right-hander [Marquez]," Roach said, "you have guys stepping on each other's lead foot more than righty-righty or lefty-lefty.
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"We were concerned enough about that happening — because it had happened a lot in their other fights, and even could be used as a strategy by Marquez — to ask the referee to come to our dressing room before the fight so we could warn him to watch for that."
So Marquez dropped Pacquiao by stepping on his foot? Not exactly.
"But what happened was the opposite, and I didn't see it clearly until later, when I looked at overhead camera shots.
"Marquez didn't step on Manny's foot. Manny stepped on Marquez's foot. And when Marquez pulled it out, it sent Manny off-balance and forward — right into the perfect right hand.
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"I wasn't ready for that. I had told Manny, when he steps on your foot, don't pull away. But the other way? I didn't see that coming."
Pacquiao falling off balance into Marquez’s fist may be partially responsible for his loss, but it wasn’t the biggest cause. No, the biggest cause, without a doubt, was the 39-year-old’s newfound power. Marquez has always been an expert counter-puncher and has landed some fantastic shots on Pacquiao over the years, but in past fights those shots did minimal damage. Obviously, with Marquez coming in looking like the Hulk and all, that wasn’t the case in the last match.