Spangled-Star

SPANGLED STAR

JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ was eager to beat Manny Pacquiao after three debatable decisions. Some would argue that the Mexican had deserved all three but the best he had received was a draw in their opening showdown.

So when the duo agreed to Part IV, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in December 2012, all everyone involved wanted was a definitive result. And they got it.

After five rounds of super-charged action the contest seemed to be going Manny’s way. He had recovered from a knockdown in the third, upped the pressure, and decked Marquez in the fifth. “I didn’t think the fight was going to last much longer,” Freddie Roach would describe about his feelings after five rounds. He thought his charge was about to conclude their rivalry at last.

And then it happened. With Pacquiao pressing his advantage he left himself square on to a counter right hand. The punch flew only a short distance but its effect was felt all over the world. Manny collapsed, face-first, unconscious, defeated [above]. His wife screamed in terror as the father of her children lay motionless on the deck.

Marquez ran across the ring with his arm aloft in victory. He had done it. He had beaten Pacquiao. And in doing so, he seemed to end any chance we had of seeing the Filipino one day face Floyd Mayweather.

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