A great atmosphere is Vegas as they get ready for the rematch between these two. The boxers are entering the ring and I will be back with information on a round by round basis.
ROUND TWO: Solid round for Marquez. I've had some computer issues. But I'm back at it now. That round went to Marquez as he was the cleaner puncher. Plus he staggered Pacman near the end of the round.
ROUND THREE: A better round for Pacquiao and he knocked Marquez down late and then had him staggered at the end of the round. That should have evened the fight up. Marquez is hurt at the moment and it will be interesting to see how he responds. It was a big left by the Phillipine that changed this fight for the moment.
ROUND FOUR: Early in Round four it appears that Pacquiao can win this fight right now. But Marquez is starting to get his legs back - and he's now fighting back. But Marquez seems to have little power behind anything at the moment. A big left from Pacquiao again. Marquez does fight back a little. But Manny is landing a lot of punches now that were missing earlier. Score the round to Manny - and give him the lead in the fight.
ROUND FIVE: A slow beginning to Round five. Marquez looks better here in the fifth. He landed a good right. He is keeping Pacquiao away right now. Marquez is countering well at the moment, but Manny is still landing some shots. A fierce exchange at the end of the round, but one that goes back to Marquez. And I have it even through five.
ROUND SIX: Marquez is keeping his distance, but I think this is a better round for Manny. With that a big uppercut and then a combination from JMM. I think that was the first close round of the fight. But Marquez landed a few at the end of the round, that I think stole it.
ROUND SEVEN: Manny has to do a better job of getting in front of Marquez. The Mexican is keeping him away. Some blood from JMM - from a butt. Not a bad cut - but over the eye. It's about the fourth time or so the heads have clashed. Ag good flurry there that Pacquiao needed and won. Marquez is fighting back and hit him with a huge left uppercut. I thought it was a pretty even round. But I liked the action that Manny provided a bit more. I'll give it to him.
ROUND EIGHT: Manny is also bleeding as well - and it seems to be bothering him. Marquez had hurt Pacquiao a little here. Some good shots to the body. JMM is running the fight right now. He's the aggressor, different from what we've seen earlier. The cut seems to really have slowed Manny down. And Marquez stunned him with a combination. The round to Marquez.
ROUND NINE: Marquez is still dictating the pace here in the ninth. But a good left lands from Manny. Marquez drives forward, but still is keeping the distance. Everytime, or so it seems, when Manny moves in and connects, Marquez counters. Quite a flurry at the end with the fighters exchanging punches in front of each other. I didn't see anything to seperate them in that round.
ROUND TEN: Pacquiao has hurt Marquez here in the tenth. Within the first few seconds of the round he has caught Marquez with some big punches. But now midway through the round JMM has regained himself and is doing a better job of fighting back. Pac-man doing more counterpunching and its working. Clearly the best round for Pacquiao since the knockout round in the third. I have it even through ten. But I would think many might have Marquez ahead - as the rounds he won were more clear - and some of the close rounds could have easily gone his way. But Pacquiao could have stolen the first.
ROUND ELEVEN: The round starts with a low blow from Marquez, and the referee warns him. Now Pacquiao lands a left but Marquez counters. JMM becomes a bit more aggressive and lands one or two solid blows. And a good left from Manny. Marquez does score there on the counter. It was a very close round, but Manny's late flurry gives him the advantage headed to round twelve on my card.
ROUND TWELVE: This round could determine the outcome, it is that close. Marquez fighting like he needs the round and is being succesful. A good exchange there. Pacquiao has fired back in the middle of the round. Both guys have landed some good punches. And they are really throwing leather with about one minute left. Some good fighting at the end. But I thought Marquez did enough to win the last round. So my unofficial card has it even.
We await the scorecards. Nothing would surprise me in this result. It was that close. Four years since they got together the last time, that ended in a draw, and there wasn't much to seperate them tonight. The cards in a moment.
Roth 115-112 Marquez
114-113 winner on Split decision and new champion Manny Pacquiao
Great fight. It had it all. Pacquiao got the early knockdown. Marquez won the middle rounds. Some cuts affected Manny in the middle. But he came back hard in the last few rounds. I was somewhat surprised that two judges had a three-point difference. But it was one of those fights where there were some close rounds - and if you went with the same guy in those close rounds, I guess that's how the card would have turned out. I had it all even - on the scorecards. But if you'd have asked me afterwards who won and made me pick someone, I'd have gone with Pacquiao, he was more impressive when he controlled things. Still I wouldn't have been upset if Marquez would have won the decision.
Some real good fighting the last few weekends. Casamayor goes next Saturday night, but we might have to watch hoops.