By Bowie V. Ibarra
Pacquiao/Marquez III was another great night of the science of boxing on display. For twelve rounds, two of the best that ever stepped in the ring threw down for the glory of boxing.
The fight was great, and a real contrast to their first two matches that were real sprints. Both guys threw lots of hands all match long. And both put their grit and technique on display, letting it all hang out.
This third matchup was run more like snipers in a combat zone than a sprint. The fight I saw had both guys pacing themselves in the first three rounds. Neither did anything to dominate the round, and were actually coin tosses. Round four found Pacquiao opening up and dominating, with Marquez answering in the fifth. And another flip-flop with Pac definitively taking six, and Marquez taking seven.
Then the rest of the fight was another sniper fest, with both fighters showing their experience and skill by picking their shots. There were flurries, complete tributes to their previous fights where one would connect with multiple blows only to have the other answer with the same. No one really won any more rounds definitively, and many could have gone either way.
Word comes that Marquez's cornerman, Nacho Berinstein, was telling Marquez he was winning. It seems Marquez took those words to heart and might have put the fight on cruise control and did what he thought was enough to win rounds. To many, that was really the time he needed to turn it up.
In the end, Pac thought he lost, Marquez thought he won, and it was handed to the judges that gave it to Pacquiao.
Many think Marquez won. Others, Pac. It really could have gone either way.
But these are the facts, and its the same thing I feel when UFC fans complain about matches decided by judges.
--- Close fights will tend to be judged to the person that, in the very least, was most aggressive.
--- The CompuStats show that even though the punch counts were close, Pacquiao still threw more punches.
--- When you put it in the hands of the judges, you can't complain, because if neither fighter did enough to win, then the order of battle states that the decision of the judges will determine the winner.
Don't get me wrong. I wanted to see Marquez get a bit of vindication from the last two fights. And, in fact, Pacquiao somehow seemed slower, allegedly hampered by a cramping foot. So Marquez could have done it.
But if Marquez turned down the heat because of his corner's words, then the fault lies with Marquez. Even though he was winning, he should have done more to make his victory emphatic, like the bad boy of boxing, Floyd Mayweather does. Floyd might be a sonovabitch, but he finishes fights, even if they go to the cards.
Pacquiao does, too. And even though many feel he doubted his inevitable victory, he also could have done more to make the victory definite in the eyes of the fans.
As it stands, Pac takes it in a close fight. He can thank staying busy and, perhaps, being the champion, for providing the edge in the final decision.
Bowie Ibarra is an author of the zombie horror series, "Down the Road". His upcoming combat sports titles, "Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire" re-release, and "Pit Fighters: Double Cross", feature boxers and other combat sports participants in an action/adventure story.
You can read more about Bowie and purchase his books at http://www.zombiebloodfights.com