Pacquiao Defeats Marquez in Close War!
Diaz - Pacquiao at 135 Next?
Report by Victor Perea & Felipe Leon
Photos by Chris Cozzone
Following their classic battle to a draw back in 2004, then featherweights Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao split ways and took very different paths in their respective careers despite the fans wishes for a rematch.
Marquez would go on to win a couple of fights that were out of reach of the spotlight. Then after nearly a year off and a fruitless loss in Thailand for practically peanuts had many wondering if a rematch would ever happen.
Pacquiao meanwhile would cement his dominance of the featherweight division participating in seven world title fights, including a trilogy with future hall of famer Erik Morales. After each fighter defeated an uninspiring Marco Antonio Barrera, a rematch for supremacy of the super featherweight division absolutely had to happen.
Last night inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Top Rank, Inc., a rematch was had that tried to once and for all answer who was the better fighter and just as in 2004, a controversial decision followed. When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, Manny Pacquiao (46-3-2, 34 KOs) walked away from their second battle this time not with a draw, but a very close and hard fought split decision victory over multiple time world champion Juan Manuel Marquez (48-4-1, 35 KOs).
It was improbable that the first round of their rematch would be as thrilling as the first round of their first meeting, where back in 2004, Marquez was knocked down three times.
This time the two warriors met and peppered each other rather evenly in the opening round of the twelve round championship fight. A right uppercut from Marquez landed low but had no effect as the two fighters headed to back to their respective corners at the end of the round. Pacman was able to sweep the close round on all three judges’ scorecards.
With chants of “Ole Ole Ole” reverberating throughout the arena, the pro Marquez crowd cheered on the defending WBC super featherweight champion, who executed with surgical precision. Marquez was practically reeling Pacquiao in by boxing and engaging the stronger fighter. Pacquiao played into Marquez’ game plan and failed to make the most of his physical advantage. Marquez clearly suppressed the Filipino’s speed which is most effective weapon with combinations.
With few combinations from Pacquiao and many counters from Marquez the see-saw battle began. A left-right-left hook from Marquez as the round ended definitely shook Pacquiao and livened up the crowd.
A straight right hand from Marquez was felt by Pacquiao early in the third as the talented Mexican continued to find his target. An accidental clash of heads caused a temporary pause to the bout.
Pacquiao landed a jab-straight combination and then a left hook flush to the chin of his opponent put him on his back and the crowd on its feet. Beating the count with seconds left in the round Marquez fought to survive to the bell. Pacquiao made every effort to stop that from happening by battering the weak kneed Marquez almost to submission as he slipped upon the ropes to end the exciting round. The bell then rang to end the third round. Marquez actually then followed Pacquiao back to the wrong corner as he was still shaky from the thrashing he had just endured.
Pacquiao tried picking up where he left off in the fourth, but Marquez battled back reminding the heavy handed southpaw that he was still in the fight. Pacquiao was still hot on the trail of Marquez who seemed slightly hesitant to counter.
The volcanic crowd erupted with excitement. Right jab, straight, and a left stunned Marquez, who fired back with his opponent’s back against the ropes. The vocal crowd shook the Mandalay Bay Event Center as every connecting power punch sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Marquez battled back with a counter overhand right that landed well with under a minute to go in the fifth followed by another straight right. A straight right again from Marquez followed by a left uppercut and over hand right gave him control once more.
A clash of heads had Marquez bleeding from the outside of his right eye. Referee Kenny Bayless had a ringside physician examine the cut and clear the fight to continue.
Immediately after restarting a right from Pacquiao stuns Marquez and the two trade heavily to finish the seventh.
The close action continued into the eighth round as a right hand from Marquez opened up a cut on Pacquiao’s right eye. Pacman brushed at his bloody eye with his glove making it clear the bleeding skewed his vision.
Marquez backed Pacquiao up to the ropes working a left hook to his body. A half blind Pacquiao rushed after Marquez, who was easily able to side-step and make his opponent miss. Marquez landed at will during the round as he took full advantage of the cut effecting Pacquiao’s sight.
Entering the ninth round the bleeding had stopped but the eye of Pacquiao was swollen with his white shorts sprinkled with his own blood while Marquez continued to land accurately. An on target straight left from Pacquiao reminded the calculated Marquez of the power the southpaw has. Referee Kenny Bayless halted the action to have a ringside doctor again inspect the cut caused by head butt earlier in fight, however afterward the bout continued.
With very little separating the two fighters on the scorecards, a looping overhand left rocked Marquez almost dropping him as his wobbly knees barely held up. Pacquiao jumped on his weakened opponent with a right-left counter and took control of the round.
For the third time in the contest referee Kenny Bayless warned Marquez to keep punches up.
Entering the championship rounds, Bayless calls time for a low blow left hook from Marquez. Pacquiao shakes off the unintentional low blow as the crowd voices their displeasure.
The two fighters exchange heavily to end the eleventh round both appeared to be making a final push neither willing to give up the last rounds.
As the fighters ended the twelfth and final round the crowd roared as each side was certain their fighter was ahead. A big right hand from Marquez followed by an uppercut from Marquez had the crowd on its feet with under a minute to go. Pacquiao countered and traded as his corner continued to call for him fight to the bell.
The two fighters finished the contest with both fighters having raised their arms in victory as fans, trainers, fighters, and sports books eagerly awaited the decision.
Michael Buffer soon announced that there was a new WBC super featherweight champion as Manny Pacquiao won the bout via a split decision. Judges Tom Miller scored the bout 114-113 and Duane Ford 115-112 for Pacquiao while Jerry Roth had it 115-112 for Marquez in what was a very close bout to call. FightNews scored the razor thin contest 115-113 for Marquez.
“The knock down did not affect me, but like in 2004, it is not just about one round,” said a dejected Marquez, “I haven’t lost anything at all. The people know I won this fight. The fight is not one round, I connected more punches more jabs I feel like I won. The people are the best judges. The people including him know that I won.”
The close contest and decision left many wanting more and most feeling as though Marquez deserved a rematch, again. Pacquiao states a rematch will not happen.
“I don’t think so. This business is over,” said Pacquiao of a possible rematch. “I wasn’t sure but I always treat the final round as most important and I wasn’t going to take any chances. Marquez countered a lot more and moved around a lot more this time,” added the newly crowned WBC super featherweight titlist.
“When my eye got cut it made it difficult. But I feel I won the fight and I am happy to go on now,” said Pacman
Future hall of fame Freddie Roach saw the contest much closer than what he would have liked from his fighter. “It was close but we came back at the end. It could’ve gone either way. Manny fought with him around the ring too much. Marquez may have had something to do with that. Manny was more disciplined in training than he was tonight.”
Any thoughts of a trilogy with Marquez are vanished as Pacquiao stated he is done with the featherweight division and will next be seen fighting for a lightweight title possibly against David Diaz who had a less than stellar performance earlier in the evening. – Victor Perea
Luevano decisions Jandaeng
WBO featherweight champion Steven Luevano (35-1, 15 KOs) of La Puente, CA successfully defended his title with a convincing unanimous decision victory over Bangkok, Thailand’s Terdsak Jandaeng (29-3, 19 KOs) in a scheduled twelve round affair that proved to be a tough test for the young title holder. Judge Dick Flaherty had it 118-109 while C.J. Ross and Paul Smith both scored it a near shutout at 119-109.
The bout began in exciting fashion as the much quicker Jandaeng landed a couple of right hooks from the southpaw stance to the jaw of Luevano in the first stanza. Luevano was able to keep him at bay with a quick stiff jab that began to develop a small mouse under the challenger’s right eye.
Jandaeng was not to be deterred as he attacked the body of his opponent with right hooks and a right uppercut to the chin as he attempted to get inside of the taller Luevano throughout the first quarter of the fight.
In the fourth, Jandaeng looked worse for wear even though the he was landing some hard punches on Luevano as well. With a minute left to go in the round, the Thai aggressor landed a straight left square in the center of Luevano’s face that sent the champion to the canvas.
Luevano beat the count and proceeded to land a left hook to the jaw of Jandaeng at the same time that the two fighters locked arms. Jandaeng fell to the canvas however referee Robert Byrd deemed it a slip much to the chagrin of the assembled crowd.
The pace quickened in the fifth and sixth as Luevano controlled much of each round with evasive foot work. He circled the ring and continued to tag the red face of Jandaeng with stiff jabs. Jandaeng in turn stalked the South California native landing an occasional jab of his own. He did however leave himself open when he missed with his left hand. This allowed Luevano to connect with a right hook to the face on more than once occasion, which swelled the left eye of Jandaeng.
The seventh brought the fight to the center of the ring as both fighters seemed to lose a bit of steam. They fought for most of the round in the proverbial phone booth with neither fighter taking a step backwards.
Midway through the eighth, Luevano was hurt by a straying right hand which prompted him to take a break. Soon after, Jandaeng seemed to take advantage as he noticed his opponent slow down and the Thailand native was able to trap him against the ropes and land powerful hooks to body of Luevano.
Much of the ninth and tenth rounds had Luevano controlling the action with his superior boxing skills but the tough Jandaeng was not to be out done as he scored sporadically with pounding combinations to the body of Luevano as well as with an occasional over hand left.
Both fighters traded bombs in the final round with a left hook by Jandaeng that almost knocked the mouthpiece out of his adversary’s mouth. Jandaeng attacked but Luevano was able to escape not only that assault but also a right hook by the desperate Jandaeng.
Luevano continued his precise dissection of Jandaeng’s style until the challenger landed heavy left hooks to the head of Luevano near the ropes. This stunned Luevano into clutching as he held on until the final bell signaled the end of the fight. – Felipe Leon
Mares TKOs Gabi in two!
Bantamweight champion Abner Mares put his WBO and NABO bantamweight titles on the line in a scheduled twelve round contest against seasoned veteran Diosdado Gabi. Although the bout was to be contested over twelve rounds, Mares only needed two to retain his belts as he quickly disposed of Gabi.
Only six years older than his opponent, Gabi entered the contest with more than double the experience than the defending title holder Mares. Along with experience comes wear and tear on your body as Mares took it right to the seasoned yet possibly already damaged Gabi by countering the Davao City, Philippines fighter with a solid right hand to begin the opening round.
Gabi stayed tough as they come as he worked like an elevator, landing upstairs and downstairs despite not having his legs beneath him. Mares failed to immediately cash out his earnings as Gabi was able to hang tough to survive the first round after eating significant punishment.
Mares answered the bell for the second stanza but maybe shouldn’t have. Gabi covered up while staying the more active puncher but Mares split the uprights with a single straight right hand that floored Gabi.
Gabi beat the count and was allowed to continue where Mares immediately seized the moment and pounced on his injured adversary. A combination of left hooks and right hands overwhelmed Gabi who stumbled across the ring and fell into the corner with a pursuing Mares landing atop him.
Referee Jay Nady untangled the tough fighters and waived the bout off at: 49 of round two saving the game Gabi from more punishment and giving Mares the TKO win.
“It was one punch and he dropped me,” said Gabi (30-4-1, 22 KOs) who lost for the first time since 2006 when Vic Darchinyan took him out in eight rounds. Gabi continued by saying, “I’m ok. I’ll be back in the gym.”
Mares (16-0, 10 KOs) landed 21 of 58 power punches as he continues his climb up the ranks with a win over his most experienced fighter yet to date. – Victor Perea
Diaz decisions Montano!
Although WBC Lightweight Champion David Diaz did not have his belt on the line for the opening pay-per-view bout of the evening, his opponent Ramon Montano fought as through it was.
With nearly double the experience Diaz went after the six year younger Montano with his signature type pressure. The solid Montano would not easily give up a chance to defeat a champion and made Diaz pay for every punch he landed.
The champion found success in counter left uppercuts as the two fighters exchanged from the inside throughout. Even when given the chance Montano did not back down from the hard-nosed Diaz and continued to engage the superior fighter.
Throwing heavy shots to the body, Diaz took it to Montano who seemed to land the more accurate punches during the early rounds. Hard body shot after hard body shot, Diaz dug into his opponent round after round as Montano not only hung tough but continued to give back what he received.
By the fifth round the action slowed down just a smidgen as the fighters threw heavier leather.
During the sixth, Diaz backed Montano onto the ropes where the two fighters exchanged. Earlier in the contest Montano did not allow Diaz to put him on the ropes as he moved around working his way around the ring.
After losing a step Montano headed into deeper waters with the Diaz, where the champion began to break away as one would have expected him to do much earlier. Diaz battered the body of Montano who although losing ground continued to make the champion earn his victory.
A left uppercut from the inside and two left hooks rocked Montano with over a minute to go in the ninth round. This cleared the path for Diaz. Eating big shots, Montano seemed unfazed and stayed in front of Diaz as a solid right hook from the champion sent his mouthpiece flying.
In his best round of the night Diaz dominated the tenth by outworking and out-hitting the younger Montano. While the outcome was good for Diaz, it is what was if a showdown with Manny Pacquiao at lightweight is to happen.
After ten rounds Judges Glen Trowbridge gave a score of 95-95 while Robert Hoyle 97-93 and Dave Moretti 99-91 declared that “Dangerous” David Diaz (34-1-1, 17 KOs) was the winner via majority decision.
To Montano’s credit the Mexican born boxer fought Diaz like a more experienced fighter than what his record would indicate as he fell to (15-5-2, 1 KO). – Victor Perea
Garcia stops Wade in one!
The newest signed member to the Shelley Finkle stable of world class fighters made a statement on the undercard, a significant one.
Junior welterweight Danny Garcia (4-0, 4 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA needed just: 43 seconds to put his opponent’s lights out.
Garcia landed a devastating left hook to the jaw of Winston-Salem’s Charles Wade (4-5, 1 KO). The knockout was so vicious that referee Toby Gibson waved off the scheduled six round fight without a count as he was concerned with the safety of Wade. – Felipe Leon
Farenas TKOs Cardenas after foul!
After a crushing left uppercut to the groin area of featherweight Baudel Cardenas at the hand of Filipino Michael Farenas, Cardenas could not continue after the five minute allotted time after the foul.
Since the fighter could not continue, the referee stopped the fight and scored it a TKO victory for Farenas with the official time of the stoppage as 2:40 of the third round.
The southpaw seemed in control of the scheduled eight round bout as he dropped Cardenas twice in the second round, the first with a left hook to the body and the second with a left uppercut.
Cardenas’ ledger drops to (17-13-2, 6 KOs) while Farenas sees his rise to (20-2-2, 18 KOs). – Felipe Leon
Tyson and Herrera draw
Super welterweights Byron Tyson (9-0-2, 4 KOs) and Esau Herrera (15-3-1, 8 KOs) battled to a six round majority draw. Scores of the bout were 57-56 for Tyson, while the other two judges had it a draw at 57-57. – Felipe Leon