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Azad Championship Report: Marquez Stops Pacquiao in Six Thrilling Rounds

(Photo © German Villasenor, MaxBoxing)
(Photo © German Villasenor, MaxBoxing)

By John Novoselac at ringside

Boxing fans got the definitive ending they’ve been craving tonight in the epic rivalry of Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and Mexican icon Juan Manuel Marquez.  Meeting tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, over 20 pounds north of their first meeting 8 years ago, Marquez battled ferociously to stop Pacquiao at the end of the 6th round to win the WBO Champion of the Decade strap in a welterweight contest.  It was a heavily pro Marquez crowd, and the Mexican fans in attendance would not leave disappointed.

Round one saw Pacquiao coming out aggressive looking to establish his position as the dominant fighter.  Both fighters measured each other out using their jabs and foot movement.  Pacquiao carried that plan into the second stanza, and took the early lead on the judges score cards.  Then things got interesting.

Azad Championship Report
Azad Championship Report

About halfway into the third round, Marquez unleashed a monster over hand right that would haunt Pacquiao more than once.  Pacquiao tasted the canvas for the first time in years as a result, and came back with a fury looking to regain his standing in the battle.

Marquez continued with a disciplined, measure pace into the fourth round.  He worked with patience, looking to maintain the momentum he gained with the third round knock down.  At this point Marquez appeared to have a slight edge in the fight.  The tide would eventually be in his favor in more than appearances.

About a minute into the fifth, a straight left hand of Pacquiao re-ignited the fire of the Filipino fans in attendance and caused Marquez’ glove to touch the canvas, scoring a knockdown.  Pacquiao sought to continue his offensive siege and followed Marquez, finishing the end of the stanza battering Marquez in 2 different corners.  Control of the fight now seemed to be in Pacquiao’s favor.  It wouldn’t last much longer.

The sixth round once again saw Pacquiao controlling the pace, being aggressive, and scoring points.  The same punch that sent him down on his seat in the 3rd would be his ultimate undoing.  As the 2 exchanged, a counter over hand right hand crumpled the Filipino congress man face first.  He wouldn’t make the count, as he was rendered unconscious.  The Mexican fans in attendance erupted with joy, while the Filipinos were left with a look of sadness, as well as concern.  The look on the face of Manny’s wife Jinkee was of outright terror.  The Mexican fans have never been happier, as beer rained down all over the arena.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:59 of the 6th round.  At the time, Pacquiao was leading on all 3 judges score cards 47-46, who had all scored the fight identically.  Afterward, Pacquiao expressed desire for a fifth fight, and made it clear he was not considering retirement.  Is a fifth fight in store?  It’s possible, you never know in boxing.

A woeful under card saw Javier Fortuna move to 21-0, 15 KOs with a feather weight win over Patrick Hyland, who dropped to 27-1, 12 KOs. Miguel Vazquez defended his light weight IBF title and moved to 25-3, 10 KOs by defeating formerly undefeated Mercito Gesta, who dropped to 26-1-1, 14 KOs.  Finally, rapper 50 Cent made his entrance on the boxing scene as he was lowered in the ring and rapping to bring out his fighter super feather weight Yuriorkis Gamboa, who picked up an interim strap in defeating Michaal Farenas.  Gambos moved to 22-0, 16 KOs, while Farenas dropped to 34-4-4, 26 KOs.

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