By Gel Santos Relos
It was unlike any other recent Manny Pacquiao fights. After it was announced that our Pambansang Kamao won by a majority decision over Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez after the ferocious third of their trilogy in the ring last Saturday, the cheers for the Pacman that we used to hear in his past boxing matches turned into boos.
It had been a long painful brutal 12-round bout when bets were in favor of Pacquiao knocking down, if not knocking out his 38-year old opponent in the first six rounds of the fight. But the totally unexpected happened, quite the opposite of the previous recent boring fights when the Pacman gobbled up his opponents.
From Round 1, it proved it had been very close, and in many times, Pacquiao had been in the receiving end of Marquez’ strong straight and uppercuts. As our Balitang America Correspondent Bev Llorente reported, “He had a deep cut above his eye because of a headbutt that needed 28 stitches which was sewn up by the doctor in the locker room”. He also felt cramps on his leg from the fourth round.
But the Pacquiao power picked up again in the last three rounds as Marquez apparently weakened, as analysts noted, showing signs and toll of his age. But no one between the Pacman and the “El Dinamita” was knocked out nor knocked down.
When the bell rang after Round 12, Juan Manuel Marquez raised his hand in anticipation of victory while Manny Pacquiao, with his head bowed down, went to his corner and prayed. Even Filipinos thought it was the end of the Pacman’s winning streak.
Many were stunned in disbelief upon the announcement of Pacquiao’s victory. He retained his WBO Welterweight belt.
It had been a controversial majority decision, and the official score cards affirmed Manny won by a very slim margin. Judge Robert Hoyle gave the scores of (MP)114- (JMM)114; Judge Dave Moretti (MP)115 - (JMM)113; and Judge Glen Trowbridge (MP)116- (JMM)112.
The Punch Statistics likewise favored a Pacquiao victory:
(MP) 578 TOTAL PUNCHES 436 (JMM)
(MP) 176 TOTAL PUNCHES CONN 138 (JMM)
(MP) 304 JABS THROWN 182 (JMM)
(MP) 58 JABS CONN. 38 (JMM)
(MP) 274 POWER PUN THROWN 254 (JMM)
(MP) 117 POWER PUN CONN. 100 (JMM)
Juan Manuel Marquez felt he was robbed of his much deserved victory. “I drop him next time, the three judges would run out and pick him up. I don’t know how to change their (the judges) minds. Yes, I knew we had won. You knew it. Everyone in the arena knew it … everyone except for the three judges.”
Manny Pacquiao, cognizant of the people’s doubts and some of his own kababayans’ disappointment, was apologetic that his performance did not meet his fans’ expectations. He admitted Marquez was a very difficult opponent, but was thankful nevertheless for his victory.
Kababayans and friends from all over the world watched, gasped, and had fiery comments about last Saturday’s remarkable fight. Here are some of them:
I'm happy for Manny. For the Filipino people as well... But it's not a fulfilling victory. -- Gilbert Remulla
Marquez was really amazing. I’m sure a lot of people thought he won this fight. He gave Manny a very difficult battle. -- Julius Babao
Had Manny lost officially, I still would've been proud of him. He's a national hero ¬nothing can take that away from him - not even a loss. -- Michelle Ventura
So sorry, but national pride can't prod me to rejoice. Marquez won this, hands down. Not by a lot, but I really think he won. -- Inday Varona
Surprised and amazed that even Manny's fans think he should have lost the fight. Proof that the Pinoys’ sense of fairness trumps emotion. -- Darwin Mariano
Tough decision but congrats to Manny. Marquez fought hard smart fight. Come out from hiding Floyd, you're out of excuses! -- Sonny Angara
Crowd was booing doesn't mean result was wrong. Audience booed me every week on America's Got Talent, I was usually right.” -- Pierce Morgan (CNN)
Manny's victory was at best pyrrhic... Malugkot na tagumpay. -- Jim Paredes
Just in case you have not seen it yet--Juan Manuel marquez dirty boxing tick exposed, stepping on Manny’s foot several times during the fight! Watch the video. -- Sonny Guillen Calasara
Sana Manny said, "Thank you for believing I won..but I believe Marquez fought well...he deserves another fight". THIS IS A CONTROVERSIAL fight! It seems to me...Manny won for another fight in May! Don't you think? -- Karen Davila
Bob Arum sees another money-making opportunity in calling for a possible Pacquiao-Marquez 4 in May 2012 -- Nato Reyes
Let's put it this way-- each of them should have knocked out the other for a convincing victory. Winning by points always controversial.” -- Rom
The fact Pacquiao did not dominate the fight just as he did in his previous fights does not mean he lost and JMM deserves the W. Feeling that Manny lost it is intuition-based. That is why there is a point-system to follow in boxing. -- Joseph Nico Cando
Too many issues for Manny this past months and for sure somehow those affected his performance... -- Ice G
Too many distractions, infidelity issues or Manny is just off or overconfident Manny? -- Alvin Pillas
SUS!Suddenly everybody knows d rules of Boxing!That's why there are JUDGES! No Court of Appeals here! Behave na! -- Aileen Nyulaszi
Sana tabla na lang yung laban para hindi kahiya hiya tayong mga Pinoy. Parang issue na mandaraya tayo. Pero wala silang magagawa kasi judges ang nag desisyon. Kaya huwag nilang sisihin si Pacman. -- Reymond De Feo
Marquez could've won if he didn't "freeze the ball" in the 11/12 because of information from his corner that he was winning. -- Tim Batang
Manny's winning was not his fault, it was the judges decisions so haters get over it " -- lovepinkgie
Loosen up people, bottom line is everybody was a winner. They all made the big bucks at your expense. -- Mike G.
Problem of PACMAN now-- expectations too high..anything less than a KO is a disappointment. -- Maverick
Move-on guys! You're not the ONE who counted the scores so don't assume that you know who really WON! Give PACQUIAO a break! -- Jonathan Magbitang
Once again boxing politics is under scrutiny & the national pride of 2 nations distracted. Lets abide by d decision & move on. -- Rizaldy Rumbaoa
Boxing is not all about sport, it is more in gambling. -- Adrian Josh Catedral
Tantanan na natin si Manny. Nanalo sya. Sorry na lang daw kung walang knockdown at KO/TKO. Mas maingay pa tayo kay Marquez.” -- Tonyo Cruz
Huhuhuhu.. Tenkyuberimats Lord..... ets ofacial.... PANALO SI MANNY!!! Sabi ko sa inyo.. Mirakol ang kailangan... Mirakol -- @OfacialDionisia