Pacquiao edges Marquez in another nail-biter
Manny Pacquiao defended his WBO world welterweight title after another incredibly tight battle against Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao was given the victory by two judges 115-113 and 116-112 while a third judge had the fight as a 114-114 draw.
The crowd booed the decision at the end of the fight, with Marquez convinced he had won the third battle between the fighters.
Marquez came into the fight as a heavy underdog despite having run Pacquiao close in their previous two fights (the first of which was a draw, the second a split decision win for Pacquiao).
The Mexican certainly seemed to edge the early rounds in the fight but his counter-attacking style was always going to leave him vulnerable to losing the tighter rounds to Pacquiao on the judges' scorecards; and while the champion was scrappy throughout, he did at least look to move forward a bit more than his opponent.
Eurosport Yahoo! scored the fight 116-115 for Pacquiao, with three rounds given as 10-10, in a fight that was extremely difficult to score and will no doubt be scrutinised ad nauseum.
"My fans are very happy because clearly I won the fight," Pacquiao said in a ringside interview afterwards
"We have to accept that my opponent is not easy. He is good fighter and it's not easy, but I won the fight."
Marquez however was disgusted with the verdict: "It's hard when you are fighting against the fighter and the judges as well," he said from his dressing room.
Pacquiao improved his career record to 54-3-2 with 38 knockouts with the victory, but 8-1 underdog Marquez is likely to come out of the fight with more credit.
With the fight being fought at a higher weight than the previous two battles, the Mexican was predicted to struggle against his opponent from the Philippines but at times Marquez seemed like a clairvoyant in the ring who knew exactly what was coming from Pacquiao before the punches were thrown.
Pacquiao looked ragged throughout, ignored the body of Marquez, and struggled to land anything with his backhand against his wily 38-year-old opponent.
There was a lack of fireworks in the fight but every second was intriguing with both fighters looking for the breakthrough that could nick a round in an unbelievably tense battle.
In the latter stages of the fight, Pacquiao started lunging forward a bit more with the ragged urgency of a man who knew he was behind, and at that stage he may well have been.
Marquez was content to make Pacquiao look bad throughout the fight, but it was not enough to convince the judges to award him the fight, and when the final bell tolled, there was genuine tension in regards to the verdict, which could have gone either way.
Pacquiao was given the decision though, but again it was so tight that cries could now be louder for Pacquiao-Marquez IV than for the much hyped and discussed potential match-up between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.