After three inconclusive but thrilling showdowns, Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) met up one final time to write the final chapter to their epic rivalry. In front of a sold out and electric MGM Grand Garden Arena, both men stepped in the ring with something to prove. Neither man wanted the bout to go to the judges and both proclaimed they were going for the knockout to end all doubts about who the better man was.
The judges wouldn’t be needed.
In front of a crowd that had his back from the opening bell, Marquez unleashed a hellacious counter right hook that separated Pac-Man from his senses before he hit the mat with just one second remaining in the sixth round of their 12-round tilt.
For the nearly 18-minute back and forth, both men kept it consistent. Pacquiao, for the most part, set the tone after the opening round feeling out process. Every time Pacquiao landed a punch or combination, Marquez was right back with a counter.
Pacquiao opened up in the third frame, but it was Marquez who would steal the round. He connected with a stiff uppercut midway through the round and knocked Pacquiao down with a right hand late.
If this were a beauty contest, Pacquiao would certainly emerge victorious. The hard, single blows of Pacquiao turned the nose of Marquez into a bloody, flimsy pool of flesh. A big Pacquiao right hand send Marquez briefly to the mat, evening the knockout score. The round closed with both fighters swinging for the fences, with Pacquiao landing a series of single, power punches.
Pacquiao attempted to make lightning strike twice at the close of the sixth. He rushed Marquez against the ropes and walked right into the fight ending hook. Referee Kenny Bayless could’ve counted to 100; Pacquiao was out cold before face planting into the canvas.
All three judges had the fight scored 47-46 for Pacquiao. Fight News scored the contest the same.
Pacquiao nearly doubled the number of punches connected with 94 to Marquez’ 52. Of those 52 Marquez punches, 41 were power shots.
Bob Arum left the door open for another fight if fan demand called for it. – Anthony Springer Jr.
Gamboa Upends Farenas
A descending 50 Cent performing his single “My Life” signaled the beginning of SMS Promotions and his fighter Yurirorkis Gamboa (22-0) making his return after a 15-month hiatus. The Cuban made his new promoter proud by claiming the WBA interim super featherweight title with a 12 round unanimous decision victory over Michael Farenas (34-4-4-1) despite worrying 50 Cent after being dropped in the 9th round. It was a relatively lopsided score despite the fact that Gamboa made this fight more difficult than it should have been. Although judges saw it 118-108, 117-109 and 117-108, Gamboa showed numerous flaws in his game. Leaving himself open during exchanges, pulling his head out with his hands down and coasting when he should be pursuing are all things he will hopefully correct. But, for now, his gifts far outweigh his flaws and his wicked power and accuracy proved to be the difference maker on Saturday night. Moving up in weight, the 31-year-old busted up Farenas and scored two knockdowns in the 3rd and 7th rounds and was cruising on the scorecards before getting ripped by a counter left hook in the 8th round.
The Cuban wanted to put an end to the night and blitzed Farenas with a salvo of wide punches. But rather than succumb to the pressure, Farenas cut loose a left hook that landed right on the button and put Gamboa on the canvas. The crowd roared at the sight but Gamboa would rise and collect himself. That was the last chance Gamboa would take as he fought cautiously to the final bell.
“I haven’t fought for a long time,” Gamboa said through a translator. “I needed the rounds. I thought I fought a good fight and entertained the crowd.” – Andreas Hale
Vazquez Spoils Gesta’s Big Opportunity
In a relatively uneventful 12 round affair, Miguel Angel Vazquez (32-3) handed Mercito Gesta (26-1-1) his first loss in a lopsided unanimous decision to retain the IBF lightweight title. From the outset, Gesta struggled to get into a rhythm and couldn’t find his way past Vazquez height and reach advantage. Vazquez’ movement and jab picked off each and every Gesta approach as the Filipino could do nothing more than chase his opponent around the ring. Despite falling behind quickly, Gesta lacked a sense of urgency and continued to lurch forward and try to land one big shot. Vazquez stuck to the game plan despite Gesta’s attempts to bait him into a firefight and earned the judges scores of 117-111, 119-109 and 118-110. – Andreas Hale
Fortuna Decisions Hyland In Lackluster Bout
Javier Fortuna (21-0-0-1, 15 KOs) won a lackluster unanimous decision win over Patrick Hyland (27-1, 12 KOs) to claim the WBA Interim Featherweight Championship. The man managed by Snookie (yes, Snooki from Jersey Shore) injected some life into the hapless bout, slamming Fortuna to the mat and hitting him with a low blow moments later in the eighth round. The series of dirty shots woke Fortuna up. The new champion charged at Hyland with a wild barrage of swings. Hyland attempted to pick up the pace in the later rounds, but his relative inaction put the bout out of his grasp. Needless to say, there was more drama in an episode of Jersey Shore than there was in this bout. The judges scored the contest 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113. – Anthony Springer Jr.
Ramirez Wrecks Siegwarth In Pro Debut
2012 USA Olympian Jose Ramirez made his professional debut a victorious one with a savagely one-sided throttling of Corey Siegwarth (2-2) in a scheduled four round lightweight attraction. The most pro ready of the U.S. boxing team wasted no time ransacking Siegwarth with punches from the opening bell. A left hook to the body dropped Siegwarth early and perhaps he should have reconsidered getting up as Ramirez unloaded a hellacious series of blows until referee Vic Drakulich mercifully stopped the fight at 2:05. – Andreas Hale
Hernandez earn first finish against Hogue
In featherweight swing bout action, Alexis Hernandez (3-1, 1 KO) needed just 1:20 to finish off Jazzma Hogue (2-4-1, 0 KOs). – Anthony Springer Jr.
Penalosa demolishes Raya
Dodie Boy Penalosa improved to 10-0 with 10 knockouts as he obliterated Jesus Lule Raya in the second round of a scheduled 8 round featherweight bout. Penalosa and Raya danced to a stalemate in the opening frame but Raya (6-5) attempted to push the action in the second round and paid for it as Penalosa slammed a counter right hook into Raya’s face that put him down and out with no count. Time of stoppage was 1:12. – Andreas Hale
Sanchez Rebounds, Rolls To Victory Over Evans
The night started out on a high note for the Phillipines as Ernie Sanchez (14-3, 5 KOs) rebounded from a near finish in the second round to defeat Coy Evans (10-2-1, 2 KOs) to earn a unanimous decision win. Sanchez was hurt with a right hook but weathered the storm to get out of the round. He roared back in the following frame, sending Evans to the mat with a straight right. The pair traded punches for the rest of the eight round affair, with Sanchez getting the better of the exchanges. The judges scored the bout 78-73, 78-73 and 78-74. – Anthony Springer Jr.