Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will do battle for the third time on Saturday, November 12 when the pair meets at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In preparation for this match-up, a lot of history between the two men is being rehashed by all parties involved – rightfully so. The problem, though, is that a lot of what’s being rehashed appears to be revisionist history completely devoid of factual information or unbiased analysis.
Let’s be clear on this once and for all: Marquez did not get robbed of two victories against Pacquiao.
The first time Pacquiao and Marquez met, the former immediately overpowered his opponent. He started hot right out of the gate and, be it because of surprise or unpreparedness, Marquez was floored. Literally – he was put on the floor three times in the first round. Ultimately Marquez would brush himself off and put forth a commendable effort throughout the rest of the match, but he simply could not overcome his initial hardships to secure a win. The match was ruled a draw with the scorecards reading: 115-110, 110-115, 113-113.
Except it never should have been scored that way.
Burt A. Clemens who posted that the match ended with both fighters at 113-113, later admitted that he mis-scored the first round that featured the three knockdowns 10-7 when it should been 10-6. Had all the knockdowns been properly accounted for, all other things remaining constant, Pacquiao would have won the match – no ands, ifs or ors about it. Marquez did not get robbed. Rather, it was his counterpart who got robbed.
The second time these two men met in 2008, it was a much closer battle. Marquez was able to beat Pacquiao in many major statistical categories – including efficiency. At the same time, Pacquiao was able to drop Marquez yet again with a merciless hook, this time in the third round. When it was all said and done, it was a split decision in the Filipino champion’s favor – 115-112, 115-112, 114-113.
At the end of the day, Pacquiao was officially robbed of a victory in the first showdown (this is fact not opinion) and earned a justifiable victory in the second one. Sure, Marquez could have been awarded the decision on the second go-around, but he wasn’t. So, given that information, at what point did Marquez get robbed twice by the judges?
During a recent interview with MaxBoxing, Hall of Famer Ignacio (Nacho) Beristain tried to perpetuate the myth that Marquez should have beaten his rival not once, but twice.
“I believe we have to be grateful to Pacquiao because he showed up in Juan Manuel’s career and with those two fights they robbed from him, instead of setting him back, the Filipinos themselves welcome Juan Manuel like crazy,” he said. “The second idol of Philippine boxing is Juan Manuel Marquez. One day, I was very early at the airport in Mexico and about 15 Filipinos came. They told me Juan Manuel Marquez won (the fights against Pacquiao). In many ways, Juan Manuel has defined Manny.”
Look, let’s put this coming bout aside for the time being. We all know that Marquez has no shot against Pacquiao at this point, what with the latter’s remarkable speed and power advantage these days. Everyone more or less agrees on this. Las Vegas, Pacquiao’s corner, the general public and so on and so forth – everyone universally acknowdges that it’s a matter of when and not if Pacquiao will knock Marquez out on November 12.
The problem here is the disparagement of both Pacquiao and Marquez’s legacies that occurs when folks choose to rewrite history to fit what they think should have happened. Both of these fighters are absolute beasts – and to try to alter perception by fabricating their place in boxing lore is doing a disservice to the folks involved, fans and sport as a whole.
Believe me, if you want to go after Pacquiao and his place in history, there are a lot better ways to do it. The man isn't bulletproof. But pick your targets appropriately.
Hopefully after the dust settles and everyone regains some semblance of common sense (something that tends to disappear close to fight night) folks will realize what a foolish exercise misrepresenting the pair’s history truly is.