Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | March 16, 2008

Unconvincing

OKAY.

I know that in this part of the globe, what I’m about to say is considered sacrilege. This would be like walking into an Afghanistan mosque and drawing unflattering caricatures of Mohammad on the wall.

Or stepping into the Vatican grounds carrying portraits of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in a lovers’ pose.

But I’m sure I’m not the only way who feels this way.

Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Juan Manuel Marquez was as convincing as Malacañang’s claim of innocence over the ZTE brouhaha.

I know, I know. Victory was sweet. Especially for those still gritting over the controversial draw four years ago, when Pacquiao decked Marquez thrice and still failed to get the nod of the judges.

See, the difference is, I never gritted my teeth over that. I didn’t think, despite the admission of one judge that he may have erred in scoring, that there was anything controversial about that split draw four years ago. Except that I felt Marquez also deserved to win that one as much as Pacquiao felt he did.

Pacquiao knocked Marquez down thrice. But he didn’t finish the Mexican off.

This time, Pacquiao managed to floor Marquez and he did not finish him off again. Not only did he not finish him off, I actually thought he was beaten. I did the round-by-round account for Inquirer.net and had the score 114-113 in Marquez’s favor. 

Two sportswriters later texted me and said they agreed with what I posted at the Inquirer website. They both had it at 114-113, Marquez. Yahoo’s respectable Kevin Iole had it 115-112 for Marquez, the same score that the lone dissenting judge of “Unfinished Business” signed at the end of the bout at the Events Center of Mandalay Bay. ESPN had it 114-113 for Marquez. The Associated Press also scored it 114-113, also for Marquez.

Fil-Am world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and broadcaster Chino Trinidad also had it at 114-113, I was told through several text messages by friends who read the Inquirer.net post. The UP Cum Laude had it 10-0 for Marquez (she has her way of scoring boxing bouts so leave her alone).

Unconvincing. Sweet and deeply satisfying for my Filipino pride. But unconvincing. Pacquiao had the unfortunate luck of the bell rushing to Marquez’s side in the third round, after the Mexican got up from being floored by a combination set up by a right jab that barely grazed Marquez’s glass chin and a wicked left hook that connected with the impunity of an 18-wheeler driven by a suicidal maniac.

That knockdown, and the barrage that nearly decked Marquez a second time before the bell–and the rope he desperately clung to–became a saving grace, won the match for Pacquiao.

Marquez’s downfall was the lack of power in his punch. But his ring savvy, his radar-guided jabs and straights, his clockwork counter-punching showed just how much technically superior he was that night.

I had always maintained that of the four super featherweights–Marquez, Pacquiao, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera–Marquez is the most technically skilled. Unfortunately, he is the most boring. His punch-retreat and counter-punching styles are the boxing equivalent of lullabyes.

It’s a style that wins titles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fill seats or generate pay-per-view sales. For a Marquez fight to click in the market, it has to have a Manny Pacquiao in it.

If Marquez had a little sting in his punches, Pacquiao may have hit the canvas several times during the match. Marquez staggered the Filipino ring icon in the second round with a three-punch combination, remember?

Luckily, too, Pacquiao has a granite chin, compared to the fragile china that passes for jaws on Marquez’s mug (lowly Jimrex Jaca floored Marquez before).

Because Pacquiao’s defense was porous at best, non-existent at worst. Several times during the match, Manny left himself unguarded and open to a possible haymaker.

It took instinct and a lot of guts for Manny to negotiate himself through a testy eighth-round. Unable to see out of his right eye because of blood drippin from a cut over his right eyebrow, one caused by a snappy Marquez right straight, Pacquiao wove his way past trouble on sheer heart.

The right eye is crucial to Pacquiao because he is a southpaw and leads off his lethal combinations and sets up his pet left straight with a right jab.

Several times in that tumultuous eighth round, Pacquiao’s blurry vision rendered him defenseless to the mixing-up that Marquez threw: Crisp body punches and head shots. None of them hurt Pacquiao much, although he did feel the sting of some of them.

This was how the judges scored it: Roth, like I mentioned earlier, had it 115-112 for Marquez. Duane Ford had it 115-112 for Pacquiao. The deciding score came from Tom Miller, who saw it 114-113, Pacquiao.

A split decision that close as a sequel to a split draw four years ago? This one’s begging for a rematch. From where a lot of people sat, the business is far from finished.

(Thanks to Clark for the photos. Although he probably nicked them illegally again)

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Responses

  1. I came across your blog while I was site-hopping for more info about Pacquiao after watching him on PPV for about $50 (What?!) a couple of hours ago with my enthusiastic friends. I don’t know much about boxing but putting my two cents in, I thought the Asian dude won the match before the decision was made because I thought the Asian dude’s moves and punches looked cooler. It reminded me of a tiger trying to take down a *insert strong animal here* – yeah. so cool. Of course the tiger was unsuccessful because the animal was just as strong but damn that was entertaining.

  2. Yeah, Pacquiao’s punches were way cooler. And he is entertaining. That’s why he gets the bulk of the 50% you paid for PPV. Hehehehe. And make no mistake about it, I’m glad he won. Marquez winning would be a triumph for those who’ve turned boxing into a scoring match. But for as long as it is a scoring match, Marquez is the technically better fighter. And he was the better boxer this time. For sheer ferocity and heart though, Pacquiao’s up there pound-for-pound. He’s the best, in fact. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. natawa ako sa scoring ni jo =))

  4. Talo ako sa pustahan! Ugh! And I didn’t get to watch the match, not even the replay. :(

    Heard that Marquez connects more than Pacman, but the latters’ punches were more powerful.

  5. Watched it live sa sopcast nung Sunday. Oo nga e, napabilib talaga ako ni Marquez and even bago pa matapos yung round 12 I knew he won it. Kahit ako nagulat sa verdict. not a convincing win for Pac this time. Pero ayos na rin yun, at least, sa ngayon masabi nating may world title na sya ulit.

  6. Tel: Yup. Mas maraming solid connections si Marquez. None of them made an impact really. He’s like an amateur boxer. He knows how to make his poiints, but he can’t really deliver a knockout.

    SJ: Yup, finally, we have a world champ. And that’s all that matters. But I still believe a third showdown will settle everything.

    Cy: Hahahahaha. Napaka intricate ng formula na ginamit niya. Mahirap i-explain. Hehehehehe.

  7. ang galing ng formula ni jo. ganyan din scoring ko halos pero di ako nakapanood. o di ba boom panis.

  8. shet! bida na naman ako!

    well, kasama kasi sa scoring ko ang physical appearance kaya yun. hahahaha! =))

  9. See, Kate, Cy, kung gaano ka-complicated?
    Yung formula niya kase na S = Pp + X + Y(EL squared), yung Pp eh pogi points, yung X is X-factor ata at ang EL eh eyeliner ata or something.

    Hehehehe.

    Peace, Bibay


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