Manny Pacquiao was beating Juan Manuel Marquez on every judge’s scorecard heading into the seventh round of last December’s highly-anticipated showdown. Mind you, this isn’t personal opinion. It’s a matter of public record. Based on how the bout had gone up to that point, the former eight division champ was en route to another decision victory.
Of course, we know how things ultimately turned out.
As Pacquiao was preparing to coast to yet another controversial win over a foe over whom he always coasted to controversial wins over, he let his guard down and walked into a perfectly-timed counter from Marquez. Said counter sent him sprawling to the mat for the long count. By the time he regained consciousness, Marquez was already doing his first post-fight interview.
Marquez has always said that he went into that match prepared to knock Pacquiao out because he knew he wouldn’t get the decision. If that’s true, then his final punch is all the more impressive. However, it’s worth noting, he said that in the other three fights, too. Marquez always looked for the knockout – he just never got it before.
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Pacquiao, for his part, doesn’t think Marquez did anything special last December. In the Filipino champ’s own words, his arch rival simply got ‘lucky’.
"It's part of boxing....sometimes you lose and sometimes you win - and I think [Marquez] just got lucky, he got a lucky break in that fight," he told the media during a recent press conference.
As you would expect, Marquez didn’t take kindly to arguably the most notable moment of his career simply being dismissed as an accident.
"I think Manny Pacquiao is throwing out some bait and hoping that I catch it,” said Marquez. “A lot of people know that it was not a stroke of luck, I was practicing [that punch] in the gym. I don't like to talk about it, but I used the same punch - two times- to drop a sparring partner [in training camp].
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“I said it [before the fight] that we knew each other so well that any change that [one of use would make] was going to be so important and so it turned out in my favor. We studied him and we worked hard on our power and to see if we could catch Pacquiao [with that punch]. [But no matter what he says] there will not be a fifth fight.”
So there you go. Take this dumb war of words however you want to take it.