Monday, November 28, 2011

Pacquiao-Marquez III

"Highly open to interpretation." – Jim Lampley

Round 1: Pacquiao moves to the center of the ring quickly. The boxers trade jabs. Both are hesitant and just feeling each other out, as most boxers are wont to do in the first round, but it’s a bit unusual for these two fighters. Pacquiao’s left makes an effective appearance.  Flurry of punches traded. Both fighters just as interested in avoiding getting hit as hitting in this round. Both throwing wild lefts. Marquez gets in some excellent body shots right before the bell rings.  Even (10-10)

Round 2: Marquez and Pacquiao miss a few shots. Great head and body movement by both fighters.  Another body shot, then an upper cut by Marquez. Pacquiao lands a left. Marquez’s movements are a little crisper and more deliberate than usual.  Marquez (19-20)

Round 3: Both fighters looking for an opening. Pacquiao lands a left. What a surprise. Where’s the right I’ve been hearing so much about? Both fighters still a little hesitant, but starting to warm up. Manny taking the more aggressive stance as usual. Marquez falling back on his counterpunching ways. Finally, a right by Pacquiao.  Marquez seems to have forgotten his new found ability to move. The fighters trade punches as the bell rings. Pacquiao (29-29)

Round 4: Pacquiao getting aggressive and moving forward with combinations. The commentators are saying this is the fastest they’ve seen Pacquiao. I disagree. Another combination by Pacquiao. Marquez goes to the body. Marquez getting aggressive.  Marquez gets in a right. Marquez throwing great combinations. Pacquiao defends himself well and throws a great right. Pacquiao (39-38)

Round 5: Pacquiao defends a few shots by Marquez. Marquez connects to the body. Pacquiao moves forward. Right hand from Marquez. The fighters are trading combinations, none of which land. Jab by Marquez. Pacquiao answers with a combo. Marquez losing his lateral movements. Hard right by Marquez. Pacquiao tags Marquez. Marquez tags him back. Hard right by Marquez. Marquez (48-48)

Round 6: Jab by Marquez. Pacquiao lands a left, but Marquez blocks the next left and answers with a shot to the body. Pacquiao backs up Marquez. Marquez counters with a hard right. Left and then a right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Pacquiao with a right. Marquez with a left. Fighters are trading punches. Marquez gets in some body shots at bell. Marquez (57-58)

Round 7: Hard right by Marquez. Pacquiao throwing punches and moving forward aggressively. Marquez is a dangerous fighter to have against the ropes, though. Left to Pacquiao’s chin by Marquez. Left to Marquez’s chin. Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Marquez’s rights look just as quick as Manny’s lefts.  Right by Pacquiao. Pacquiao can move. Marquez tags Pacquiao at the end. Even (67-68)

Round 8: Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Upper cut and right by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Jab by Marquez. Marquez (76-78)

Round 9: Marquez throws a combination, which is blocked by Pacquiao. Another combination by Marquez. Right by Marquez. Left by Pacquiao. Marquez is controlling the fight. Fighters trade lefts. Fighters look tired. Combination by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Body shot and uppercut by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Left upper cut by Marquez. Pacquiao answers. Left by Pacquiao. Pacquiao (86-87)

Round 10:  Right by Marquez. Another right by Marquez. Marquez slips. The fighters trade a flurry of punches. Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Nasty head butt during the round. Pacquiao is bleeding. Pacquiao (96-96)

Round 11:  Body shot by Marquez. Body shot by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Right uppercut by Marquez. Left by Pacquiao. Hard right by Pacquiao. Right and left by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Left by Marquez. Left by Pacquiao. Hard right by Marquez. Even (106-106)

Seriously, why the EFF was Nacho telling Marquez he was winning? Amateur mistake.

Round 12: Right by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Pacquiao’s mouthpiece magically falls out of the side of his mouth. Looks like he spit it out. I guess someone needed a breather. Blocked right and combinations by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Right to the body by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Pacquiao (116-115)

Actual Scores and Decision: 114-114 Even; 115-113 Pacquiao; 116-112; Pacquiao wins by majority decision. Deafening booing from the crowd.

It wasn’t a great fight, but it was a good fight demonstrating that the best fighters can and should adjust their fighting styles depending on their opponent.

Marquez fought intelligently. If he had showed this much patience with Mayweather, he would’ve still lost that fight, but lost by less. Maybe he realized he needed to adjust after the Mayweather fight. Maybe it was just the upcoming rubber match that sparked the change. Either way, it made him a much better fighter. Mayweather should take note. This is how you fight a defensive, yet still entertaining fight. Ortiz should take note. This is how you protect yourself at all times. My only complaint about Marquez in this fight is that he should’ve gone more to the body.

Pacquiao did just fine in this fight. He did win by one point, according to me. It’s not that Pacquiao has fallen off. It’s just that the hype surrounding this fight reflected the mythic status he has acquired and understandably so. He has won titles in more divisions than anyone else. He was also more cautious than usual in this fight and rightfully so. Marquez is his kryptonite and just knows how to fight Pacquiao. I think the Pac-Man will recover just fine. The decision was as lopsided as it was, because a defeat for Pacquiao would’ve killed the .000000001% chance for a fight with Mayweather.

A note on Pacquiao-Mayweather: It should happen. Who cares how Pacquiao-Marquez went down. Mayweather fought Victor Ortiz for Pete’s sake. Quality of opponent is not high on Mayweather’s list.* I think it’s unlikely that Manny will win, but I do think it’s possible. Pacquiao has incredible timing. If he is able to be patient and suppress the desire to give boxing fans a good fight (hey, Mayweather can do it), he has a shot.

*Reasons to Fight an Opponent: $

A note on Pacquiao/Marquez 24-7:

Where’s the drama? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like the Mayweather, fake-ass rivalry, WWF theatrics, either, but once upon a time, 24-7 provided a real glimpse into a boxer’s training camp. Judging by this 24/7, there was nothing going on in either training camps. HBO could’ve showed so much: the dissention in the Pacquiao team ranks (Michael Koncz v. Everyone; Freddy Roach’s and Alex Ariza’s disapproval of Manny’s many appearances; Ariza’s issues with Manny’s flagrant ignoring of his conditioning regimen; etc.). True, not all training camps have drama. However, fighters at that level have bloated entourages and I’m pretty sure not everyone gets along. Post fight, I read an article hinting at rumors of infidelity, disagreements with trainers, and various other distractions all of which occurred during training camp. So, where was the footage of that? I thought the “documentary” series was an infomercial for the fight, not for the individual fighters. Maybe instead of 24/7, HBO should call it Keeping Up with the Cotto/Margarito/Marquez/Pacquiao/Mayweather/Etc. Kamp. It’s about as real as that other K show. 

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