Pacquiao beats Marquez by questionable decision: Greatness ignored

By John J. Maldonado: The sport of boxing has received a black eye with the decision of Pacquiao-Marquez 3. Everything it stands for was torn down with the decision by three judges empowered to protect its sanctity and fairness. You had a man in Juan Manuel Marquez who kept on believing in himself when no one else would and poured his heart, soul, "blood, sweat, and tears" into proving the world wrong.

Marquez knew he was the better man and tried to tell whomever would listen but on this night his cries would fall on deaf ears. A lifetime of training, tons of experience and an enormous amount of courage was dedicated to applying his craft in the sport he loved which on this night, unfortunately, didn't love him back. A lifetime of achievement and dedication would not ensure fairness on this evening.

Not even the commentators of the event on HBO would offer anything close to acknowledgement that boxing's proud warrior child had pulled off what many, including myself, had believed he "could not" do. And it's a shame since that's supposed to be what the sport stands for... opportunity! The plight of the underdog! May the best man win! Marquez pulled off a master piece and it's disgraceful that he will not get the just credit he deserves. It will be a shame for boxing history to not accurately reflect that one of the greatest fighters of our era in Juan Manuel Marquez handily defeated highly regarded P4P king Manny Pacquiao when no one believed that he could.

It should be recorded that on this night, Juan Manuel would not be denied. He pulled off what most everyone thought could not be done by beating Pacquiao. His feat rivaled what the ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins was able to accomplish by winning a world championship at 46 years-old in that, at 38 years-old, Marquez fought a man on a meteoric rise and many believed could not be beaten. Especially in such a high weight class!

Especially since Pac has gotten faster, stronger, better! Especially since Marquez had been dropped by Pac times in two fights at much lighter weights! Especially with so much ring wear and tear in Marquez! But sadly enough, that won't be recorded. The record books won't reflect that Marquez pulled off the seemingly impossible. History will be robbed of a great performance and win by Marquez.

No one man should have the advantage over the other in this trilogy because that is not the way it has played out and the record books should accurately reflect that. No special concessions should be made because of a possible $200+million fight may be in the works(Mayweather-Pacquiao), or because one combatant happened to be a congressman in his country, or because someone is viewed as p4p best in the sport, or for endorsement purposes, or because so-and-so is better for the sport of boxing. What's better for the sport of boxing is for the best man to win, period!

And what would this decision have done for the way we view boxing? Would Marquez now be the greatest Mexican fighter ever? Would he finally get world renowned recognition and popularity from a sport he has dedicated his life to? Would a decision for him have derailed Pacquiao's political aspirations in his own country? Marquez wasn't supposed to be able to win. Marquez-PAC 1 and 2 happened well south of the welterweight limit and had taken place years earlier. Since then Marquez has aged and slowed while on the other side of the equation we had Pacquiao who took off like a rocket. He climbed to the higher weight classes and carried power never before seen in boxing history. He was destroying bigger champions without ever being close to being challenged by the best fighters in the bigger weight divisions.

While Marquez's one foray into the higher weight classes saw him have trouble carrying the weight thus slowing him down and not carrying power on his way to being completely outclassed by Mayweather and sent back down to the lighter divisions to conclude his career. There should have been "NO WAY" Marquez would be able to come back up in weight and be anything close to effective against the juggernaut that is Manny Pacquiao. There's only one problem with that. Marquez never got that memo. He was the little engine that could and NOTHING was going to stop him on this night! He employed tremendous footwork getting him into position and controlling the range of the fight. You could hear Pacs' corner pleading with him to make the adjustments in movement. Marquez displayed accuracy and well timed counters to offset Pacs' rhythm.

Marquez also effectively would not allow PAC to put together any type of consistent offensive solvo. PAC was visibly frustrated and had no answers for the adjustments Marquez was continually making. PAC tried to employ angles and Marquez would switch direction with well timed counters. PAC would try and move forward behind punches only to find Marquez open the distance and not be there leaving PAC swinging at air. The frustrated, desperate Pac had no answers on this night and it ended for him in what should have been defeat. His facial expression said it all. In the post fight interview he sported a depressed look of frustration while not showing any respect for his opponent. Very uncharacteristic for the usually professional, jovial Manny Pacquiao. Debris rained down on the ring from upset onlookers who protested the robbery that had just taken place. And he was booed quite loudly by many in attendance.

Prior to the fight Marquez was continually asked how he could beat Pacquiao to which he would respond, "with experience". And if anyone had the experience to pull it off, whom more than Marquez? Two fights had already taken place between them in which Marquez had won more rounds than PAC. why didn't we believe, or at the very least, listen? Well, Marquez sure showed us last night! And I'm happy to eat my words.(I chose Pacquiao to win the fight.... by KO nonetheless).

So here's to you Marquez! Bravo! You did it! And I acknowledge and appreciate you for the warrior you are. You are a tremendous asset to boxing even if it doesn't want to recognize you as such. You climbed the mountain and weren't given fair acknowledgment of all you had accomplished on an historic night where boxing saw its shooting star in Manny Pacquiao brought down to earth by a determined, superb warrior named Juan Manuel Marquez! I salute you warrior, Guerrero, and I'm proud to have witnessed the greatness that is you! God bless you! You did it!

Article posted on 13.11.2011

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