Marquez knocks out Pacquiao
Juan Manuel Marquez produced a huge right hand to knock Manny Pacquiao out and win a devastating victory in the latest chapter of one of the sport's most compelling rivalries.
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Both fighters had been sent sprawling in an action-packed bout in Las Vegas, and it was Pacquiao who appeared to be on top before Marquez produced a brutal blow right at the end of the sixth round to seal the win he craved so badly.
The win may bring 39-year-old Marquez no titles, but for the Mexican it ended years of frustration as he vanquished his rival at the fourth attempt.
Their previous three encounters have not been short of controversy with decisions disputed, but there was no doubt about this one.
After two cagey rounds, it was Marquez who landed the first telling blow in the third.
A big right-hander sent Pacquiao to the canvas and, though he bounced straight back up again, it was clear the Filipino was rattled.
A high-octane and even fourth followed, but in the fifth it was Pacquiao who stepped up a gear, landing a big left jab on Marquez, who touched the canvas with his glove.
With Marquez cut and hurting, the 33-year-old scented blood and pressed forward in the sixth.
But in his haste to finish off Marquez he left himself open and the Mexican produced a thundering counter-punch which left Pacquiao face down on the canvas for around two minutes.
"I am going to rest and then come back to fight," said Pacquiao. "I would go for a fifth (fight with Marquez).
"I got hit with a punch I didn't see. I thought I was getting him in the last couple of rounds but I got hit by a strong punch. I did not expect that punch.
"He is not an easy opponent. I was just starting to feel confident and then I got careless."
Marquez claims he won all three earlier fights but two were scored in favour of Pacquiao and one ended in a draw.
He triumphed this time though and said: "I feel great that I leave no doubt in the way I got this victory over Manny.
"I was counter-punching him. He was throwing a lot of punches but he was missing and so I would try to counter punch. The right hand got under his guard, I threw the right when he missed a punch on me.
"I think this fight was one of my best victories absolutely. I was going to retire but now I am happy I didn't. Right now, in my future, I don't know what is coming. I am just thinking of the celebration, rather than who I am going to fight next."
Asked if Pacquiao should retire, his trainer Freddie Roach said: "I don't think he should. I don't think this is the end of Manny Pacquiao.
"I thought Manny was having a good fight but he ran into a good one. Manny got a little careless and then he ran into that punch, he fought a very smart opponent.
"If Manny comes to the gym and trains hard, I am sure he would welcome another fight (with Marquez) but it might be better to take a softer touch first."