Leave No Doubt: Marquez’ KO of Pacquiao is the 2012 Knockout of the Year
Was there any other knockout that was as devastating, surprising, and happened with one second of a round left? Maybe; but there wasn’t any one punch knockout more significant this year or maybe in the past decade than Juan Manuel Marquez’ straight right hand that sent a leaning Manny Pacquiao face first into the canvas.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have had 3 good fights against each other where in most eyes there wasn’t a definite winner. In Marquez’ eyes, he had won all 3 but left with a record of 0-2-1 when the decisions were left up to the judges. They fought at featherweight, junior lightweight, and in 2011 they fought at a catch weight of 144 lbs. Not many people gave Marquez a chance in the third fight because Pacquiao had become such a dominate force in his move up in weight, while Marquez struggled in his first attempt over 140 against Floyd Mayweather looking slow and pudgy.
However, in their 2011 bout, Marquez looked ripped under a new regiment of new strength and conditioning Coach Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia. Heredia’s name came into controversy because of his part in the performance enhancing drug saga that involved clients he worked with. Marquez now with a new welterweight body gave Manny Pacquiao all he could handle in their third fight. Another fight with Manny Pacquiao, another decision with Manny Pacquiao, and another close decision loss to Manny Pacquiao.
The stage was set for a 4th fight to their epic rivalry. When the fight was made, most fans were saying, “Really? Again?” These two fighters are A level talent and have made 3 good fights, so why not? The 4th fight delivered once again.
Manny Pacquiao looked like he had the old fire in him, something they said he lacked in his fights with Tim Bradley and Shane Mosley. Pacquiao’s head movement, upper body movement, and combinations looked to old form. Marquez to his own account looked strong, patient, and powerful.
The first two rounds were even back and forth for the most part with Pacquiao landing the heavy left hands, while Marquez worked to the body. The work to the body paid off for Marquez in the third round. He seemingly fooled Pacquiao by feinting low and landing a big right hand up top that sent Manny to the floor for the first time in their rivalry.
Pacquiao came back with his own knockout in the 5th with a straight left than put Marquez on his butt. Pacquiao was in control in the 5th bloodying Marquez and nearly stopping him. Marquez fought back in what was probably the best exchanges of the fight to end the 5th round; punches were landed without an inch of clinching to the bell sounded.
Pacquiao dominated the 6th round looking fast, popping combinations to Marquez’ already bloodied face. Pacquiao had the round in the bag but continued to attack slapping two right hands jumping in, Marquez slipped the last one and landed a huge over hand right. From the You Tube video we’ve seen, it looked like Marquez practiced that punch plenty and often. They say practice makes perfect and Marquez landed that right hand with perfection. Manny leaned right into it and fell face first on the canvas. As soon as the punch landed HBO’s Roy Jones stated to Jim Lampley, “He’s not getting up Jim.”
Pacquiao did get up but it was after referee Kenny Bayless had called the fight moments after he laid motionless on the ground. This time there was no doubt, no judges, and no controversy in the ring. Marquez got the redemption he felt he deserved from 3 fights and 8 years in the making.
Other Receiving Votes: Garcia KO4 of Morales, Bailey KO11 of Mike Jones, Adonis Stevenson KO1 Jesus Gonzalez, and Mikkel Kessler KO4 Allan Green