I’m very serious with that question. What did I just witness? All I remember was Manny Pacquiao getting ready to finish off Juan Manuel Marquez when all of a sudden he was down on the canvas, legs straight, arms at his side, face forward like a toy soldier knocked over while Kenny Bayless waved his arms.
I was standing on the seat of my booth while everyone inside the sports bar of Boston Pizza reacted in almost the same manner.
Yes, the third round knockdown by Marquez took us by surprise. Yes, the later assault by Pacquiao was accepted and cheered by the large pro-Manny crowd. Yes, the blood on the face of Marquez told us who was probably winning the fight.
No, none of us ever expected to see Manny Pacquiao face down on the canvas as Juan Manuel Marquez jumped to the top rope and took in the victory he had been seeking for eight long, hard fought years.
“It was a lucky punch,” my father tried to explain to me.
“No, it wasn’t,” I told him.
And it wasn’t. Marquez is an amazing counter-puncher; knows how to land clean punches even while he’s taking one himself and that’s what he did. It’s just… the manner in which he ended things. It’s like in his mind he said, “OK, screw the judges, screw the opinion polls, I’M going to decide how this fight will end.”
Beforehand, I honestly couldn’t make a prediction on who I thought would win, but one thing I was certain of was that if Marquez was going to win, it was going to be by decision.
However, after the fact, I can predict that Juan Manuel Marquez has made the Knockout of the Year, in the Round of the Year and has skyrocketed himself into contention to be named Fighter of the Year.
The most important question now is… where do the fighters go from here? Well as I said in my previous blog, if Manny loses, then there’s a very high chance that he’ll retire. Yes, I know he told Larry Merchant that he wants to keep on fighting but… do you think you’d be thinking clearly after getting knocked out like that? Either way, those of you hanging onto hope for a showdown with Floyd Mayweather, kiss that goodbye once and for all.
Juan Manuel Marquez probably feels like he has justified every bad decision of his career with this amazing knockout. In my honest opinion, he has surpassed Morales and Barrera. As they got older their skills deteriorated and made them easy victims for Pacquiao. Marquez seems to be the Benjamin Button of boxing and is possibly getting younger despite advancing in age. He probably will fight again, but personally, if it were me, if I were Juan Manuel Marquez, I would say, “I have finally gotten my long deserved victory against my greatest rival and I’ve done it in the best way possible way. I’m retired.”
That’s just me though. If he wants to keep fighting… then let him. I’m of the opinion that if you want to, you can, but that doesn’t prevent me from saying that I don’t want to see you.
One thing that I think is very certain that after this, a fifth fight is the last thing any of us want to see.
Despite my father rooting for Pacquiao, he left the sports bar with a smile on his face and yet still in shock over what he witnessed.
“Credit to Pacquiao,” he said. “After that he went to him, hugged him, was smiling. The guy’s a class act.”
He’s right. Some fighters under similar circumstances might argue that their opponent was lucky and nothing else factored in, but he took it like a man.
“It was probably the best fight I ever saw,” my father told me as we made our way towards the car.
I’m not sure if I have the same opinion in that regard, but it was one of the most memorable boxing experiences I’ll ever have and a great way to spend a night with the old man.
The only person who can feel angry at themselves is Floyd Mayweather Jr.. Guess how many people are going to be asking him, “What were you so worried about?”