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December 09, 2012

By Scott Shaffer

Juan Manuel Marquez KO6 Manny Pacquiao... With a knockout that ranks alongside Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams and yes, Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns, Juan Manuel Marquez knocked Manny Pacquiao unconscious with an overhand right at the end of the sixth round of a welterweight fight in which Marquez was in deep trouble. Pacquiao went down face first like the proverbial ton of bricks and laid motionless, nose to canvas, as pandemonium engulfed the Las Vegas arena. Pacquiao had been down earlier in the fight, but he also floored Marquez himself and seemed to be doing great damage to Marquez's face. Like Hagler in 1985, Marquez was badly cut, but even worse, Marquez was likely fighting with a broken nose. Also, Marquez, decked by Pacquiao in the fifth round, was spitting unidentifiable body fluids from his mouth as Pacquaio attempted to finish him off.  Marquez's overhand right also was responsible for his earlier knockdown of Pacquaio in a bout that will be remembered for many, many years. Marquez's victory was so dramatic, and the shifts in momentum so great over the three knockdowns, that he almost certainly be named boxer of the year, and this will probably be 2012's fight of the year. Marquez is now 1-2-1 in his four-fight rivalry with Pacquiao, but this was the only undebatable ending of the four. Marquez was reticent on the obvious question of a fifth bout, while Pacquiao, after he regained consciousness, was open to the possibility. With the win, Marquez claims recognition as the world welterweight champion.

In the first two rounds, Pacquiao's head movement created just enough offensive opportunities for him to gain an edge in the scoring. In the third, Marquez scored an explosive knockdown with a single overhand right that wiped a smile right off Pacquiao's face. In the fourth, Pacquiao clearly had recovered from the knockdown, and the two exhanged punches with a slight edge going to Marquez. Pacquiao knocked Marquez down in the fifth and had Marquez bleeding from the nose and badly hurt at the end of the round. In the sixth, Pacquiao was trying to finish Marquez off, but left himself open to Marquez's fatal overhand right.

Although Marquez now ascends to a level of glory very few boxers ever achieved, his triumph comes with suspicion of illegal performance enhancers. For this fight, Marquez worked with the tainted Angel Heredia, reputedly as a former Balco PED manufacturer turned government witness against Olympian Marion Jones. Heredia's influence was seen all over Marquez's body, which was more ripped and muscular than it had ever been in the 39 year-old's career.  source: hbo pay-per-view

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