Marquez got the better of Pacquiao via a stunning sixth round knock out

Pacquiao's humiliating loss to Marquez in their fourth encounter of what was considered as one of boxing's great rivalries reminds me of Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton some three years back when the Filipino fighter sent him to dreamland, lying flat on the canvas for a couple of minutes unconscious. That was the kind of Pacquiao we are accustomed to of seeing and was hoping to see on Saturday night (Sunday noon of December 9th, Manila time) but ended just tragic in the blink of an eye for the man we thought could expire "El Dinamita" and shut his mouth up. In spite of how it turned out to be, the fight did not only live up to expectations but was only adding more ingredients to the recipe. The fight, with three knockdowns and brutal, was in the level of a classic like the previous three  fights between them were, only this time we saw the "Pacman" taking a dose of his own medicine.

Pacquiao, as what he has promised, was the more agressive as he chased Marquez from the opening bell and tried to plant shots only to be countered well by the master technician from Mexico. Pacquiao won the round, though. The second round was a conservative display of search-and-destroy as the two warriors engaged in a mixed slugfest and boxing. The third stanza, however, is an indicator how stronger Marquez has become for this fight as he dropped Pacquiao with an overhand right straight to the head. But Pacquiao recovered and continued to pounce on at Marquez with his flurry of punches until his face became a mess of blood and even floored the Mexican in the fifth canto. Round six was a total war as the two exchanged heavy shots. Pacquiao appeared to clearly dominate the fight as he pinned the bloodied Marquez to the ropes in the corner and, while trying to finish the Mexican warrior off, only seconds away from the end of the round, caught off guard, he took a wild right straight or semi-right hook counter from Marquez as he fell with his face towards the canvas. Referee Kenny Bayless, upon seeing the nature of such a devastating knockout, did not bother to count anymore and immediately waved the fight off.

Many people, and the whole boxing world, were shocked. How did Marquez get such a power infused onto his system, his arsenal (the right hand in particular)? Is he on something? As we can see, Marquez got bigger and he has built up excellent muscles in only such a short period of time he looks like he's more of a body builder than a boxer. But wether he's on to something or not, we must also try to see the fact that, in this fourth encounter with his arch-rival Pacquiao, he has so much worked hard for it and prepared in a way that can motivate him to only think of winning.

Marquez is the better boxer but he's not as strong as the Pacman. That's why he changed things in the training camp. He hired an expert strength and conditioning coach to do the job for him. I think the proper application of plyometric exercises and lifting weights, aside from the overall nutritional factor, to a boxer's training regimen have worked wonders for Marquez. His fighting style he just left it at that, knowing he's always good at what he's already better at, but focus more on trying to add up some power in his punches. And as the saying goes "you can't teach new tricks to an old dog", but you can always try to improve things out though. Marquez has just proven it to us in his fourth outing with the Filipino boxing icon.

I'm not going to say that Pacquiao did not train as hard as Marquez, or was not that sharp as he can be during the fight. But Pacquiao, as what was his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza have been telling before the fight, has abandoned the plyometric exercises he was supposed to necessarily undergo with and concentrate more on boxing techniques with trainer Freddie Roach instead. Pacquiao has fought a good fight and has nearly busted the lights off from Marquez if not for that single punch the Mexican was able to throw in the remaining few seconds of the sixth round that changed it all. We need to praise Marquez for the victory he so deserved and for Pacquiao, we owe him respect for putting up a good fight and may this one served him a lesson, there's always a next time. So he must better luck for the Pacquiao-Marquez 5, if that fight will ever happen, to seek redemption.


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