One punch, that’s all it takes to shock the world. In that one punch Juan Manuel Marquez not only took down his bitter rival, Manny Pacquiao, but also took the first decisive win in a four match series that began eight years ago. However, did that one punch in turn ruin a potential superfight and contribute in boxing’s eventual death?
Personally, I don’t believe that Pacquiao losing the fight spells the beginning of the end for boxing like many casual fans may think. In fact, I believe that Saturday’s outcome can only help boxing head in the right direction.
Saturday’s fight was incredible. The first two rounds picked up right where the first three fights began, with both fighters fighting pretty evenly. The third was taken by Marquez as he knocked Pacquiao down for the first time since 2003. Pacquiao quickly answered back by putting Marquez down in the fifth. That fifth round was one of the best rounds of boxing that I’ve seen in a long while.
Then came the deciding sixth round, which Pacquiao seemed to be controlling. As the round was coming to a close Pacquiao got a bit too overzealous and tried to finish the round strong in order to ensure a round scored for him. Instead he paid for that overconfidence with just one second left in the round as a beautiful counter right hand was landed from Marquez putting Pacquiao out cold for close to two minutes. It’s punches like that that give boxing the nickname of “the sweet science” its validity.
This is exactly why people watch boxing, to see an underdog come from behind to land the perfect shot and take the win. It was counter-punching at its finest and finally pushed 39-year-old Marquez out of the shadow of Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
The outcome did, however, ruin the luster of a potential super-fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather. Though after years of back-and-forth between the two fighter’s promotions, it never really seemed like it was going to happen in the first place.
Mayweather stands alone as the best pound-for-pound boxer right now and will attempt to cement his place as one of the greatest boxers of all time. This is exciting as up-andcoming boxers will try their hand at dethroning the undefeated champion. There will also be intrigue as not only his record will be challenged but also his legacy by underdog fighters who will try to throw a perfect punch much like Marquez.
Pacquiao on the other hand, will have to rebuild his legacy starting with a fifth bout against Marquez. It seems the only natural move he should make other than possible retirement.
For Marquez, this knockout not only solidifies him as one of the best boxers today, but also as one of the best Mexican fighters of all time. Not only was he in the shadows of Mayweather and Pacquiao, but also in the shadows of exciting Mexican greats Èrik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.
Aside from where these three great fighters go from here, there are other great up-and-coming fighters that keep the sport of boxing fresh and compelling. Undefeated Mexican WBC light middleweight champ Canelo Àlvarez looks very promising. He recently won his match in September against Josèlito Lòpez in dominating fashion.
For the Filipino fight fans who are looking for an up-and-coming fighter to root for in the wake of Pacquiao’s recent fight, look no further than WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire.
In addition there are many other great prospects in the fight game that make it an exciting time to follow the sport. Names like featherweight Gary Russell Jr., lightweight Adrien Broner, featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa and lightweight Brandon Rios are all unbeaten and poised to make their mark in the ring.
Boxing has definitely had it’s fair share of knockdowns but it’s exciting fights and fighters that keep the casual fan getting up and back for more.