Manny Pacquiao Fights Draw With Juan Marquez This Day May 8, 2004
- Manny Pacquiao 125 lbs
- Juan Manuel Marquez 125 lbs
- SD in round 12 of 12
- Location: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Joe Cortez
- Judge: John Stewart 115-110
- Judge: Burt A. Clements 113-113
- Judge: Guy Jutras 110-115
- World Boxing Association Featherweight Title (1st defense by Marquez)
- International Boxing Federation Featherweight Title (2nd defense by Marquez)
- The Ring Magazine Featherweight Title (1st defense by Pacquiao)
The fight began with both boxers exhibiting the nervous energy most likely experienced by everyone in the arena. Marquez landed his first counters, sending Pacquiao back on his heels briefly. But his success would be short-lived, as midway through the round Pacquiao scored with a stiff left, sending the champion to the seat of his pants.
“I went in there overconfident and he caught me,” admitted Mexico City’s Marquez. “I was disoriented after the first round, but once I got over that I thought I controlled the fight.”
Seconds after rising, Marquez went down again and the crowd erupted.
Rising to his feet once more, Marquez, with too much pride to give ground, came right back at Pacquiao, who sent him sprawling to the ropes with yet another left. Though hoisted up by the ropes, Marquez was punched again and went down. He rose at the count of eight and continued to stand in front of the “Pac-Man,” who was unable to put Marquez down for the count in the opening frame.
“There was not enough time,” said Pacquiao.
Marquez went back to his corner bleeding profusely from his nose, and needed all the wisdom of trainer Nacho Beristain to get him back into the fight.
Keeping his distance as the second began, Marquez boxed with a clear head as Pacquiao kept shooting in left hands, trying anything in his power to put his foe down again. As the round progressed, Pacquiao kept pressing and landing, but Marquez bravely held his ground and actually started to land some wide shots of his own.
“The most important thing was avoiding his left hand,” said Marquez. “After we did that, we were able to counterpunch him.”
Already in a likely five-point hole, Marquez had to pick up the pace in the third, and he started to dig to Pacquiao’s body in hopes of slowing the Filipino bomber down. And even though Marquez was able to score fairly effectively in the round, when Pacquiao started his pendulum-swinging movement from side to side as he moved forward, there was danger in the air.
Once again controlling the pace of the action in the fourth, Marquez kept his foe at bay, counterpunching efficiently and throwing in the odd low blow that took Pacquiao’s head off his game plan as he complained to referee Joe Cortez.
Landing his best shot of the fight in the fifth, a jarring right to the jaw, Marquez moved forward confidently, only to be sent back into counterpunching mode seconds later by a couple of Pacquiao bombs. But in the final 30 seconds, both fighters let it go, and Marquez came out on top, opening a cut on Pacquiao’s right eyelid.
Suddenly, the fight of the year was back.
Another big right jarred Pacquiao midway through the sixth round, and despite his blood-splattered trunks, Marquez was not the same fighter he was in round one, as he proudly walked back to the corner after another effective three minutes.
Marquez varied his arsenal in the seventh, shooting hooks and crosses to the head and body as Pacquiao seemed taken aback, not only by Marquez’ attack, but by his resilience. Both warriors exchanged hostilities in the final minute, and by the end of the round, Pacquiao’s lefts were being met by Marquez rights, both producing the type of facial damage only experienced by real fighters in real fights.
The pace slowed in the first two minutes of the eighth, with some fierce, evenly matched spurts of action in the final 60 seconds, making the round hard to score. Pacquiao rebounded with some hard left hands and uppercuts in the ninth, but Marquez took each shot and came back firing, much to the delight of the “Pac-Man,” who raised his hands in glee when the action heated up.
Again in the 10th, both fighters nervously hopped around each other until the first shot landed, then the war began again. And this time, Pacquiao’s left found a home with regularity, not hurting Marquez, but jarring him enough to score points.
The power shots continued to find their marks for both men in round 11, but at this point of the bout, neither proud man would give the other the satisfaction of going down or looking hurt.
Marquez opened the final round by landing a couple of effective shots as he waited for Pacquiao to commit himself. And Pacquiao did commit, scoring some heavy blows at the midpoint of the round. With 30 seconds left, the crowd rose to its feet in tribute, and as both men raised their hands at the final bell, it was obvious that despite any scoring controversies, both Pacquiao and Marquez were winners in the eyes of boxing fans.
The fighters then put on a show to end the fight before hugging each other as the final bell sounded.
Judge Guy Jutras scored the fight 115-110 for Marquez, while judge John Stewart scored it 115-110 for Pacquiao.
The third judge, Burt Clements, had a 113-113 tie. His scoring included a 10-7 opening round because, he admitted later, he did not realize he could give a 10-6 round. If Clements had scored the opening round 10-6, as the other two judges had, Pacquiao would have won by 113-112 on Clements’s card and earned a split decision.
“I just screwed up,” Clements said. “I feel badly because I dropped the ball, plainly and simply. You can make a lot of arguments that it was a very close fight, but that’s immaterial. The fact is, I dropped the ball.”
Marc Ratner, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, ruled that Clements’s admission was no grounds for a protest.