Okay, so I know I wasn't necessarily the most supportive about doing this Marquez-Pacquiao thing for a fourth time. But, I suppose that's why I'm not a fight promoter.* Because that fight was freaking awesome.
*It's something I've thought about doing as a small-time basically hobby thing. Not real seriously, I haven't put a bunch of thought into it. But it seems like it could be fun.
Really, I don't know what more you could have asked for. Both fighters were more than game. It was fast-paced, sometimes lightning-paced, with very minimal grabbing. The momentum swung back and forth. It was great. And I watched it on a crappy YouTube reposting. I'll bet I would have enjoyed it even more if I'd paid the $60 to watch it on our big screen.
As for my quick take on the fight, I honestly thought Pacquiao had the better fight overall. Oh, sure, Marquez had his moments, but for the most part, it seemed Pacquiao was the one forcing the action and dictating the pace. Marquez, though, landed two of the most perfect punches you are ever going to see. The first knockdown was an overwhelming right that seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere. I know it surprised me. Judging by how Pacquiao hit the canvas, it surprised him, too. That punch was only topped by the one with a second to go in the sixth. You can see the aftermath up there. It really looked like Marquez had killed him. Manny just went down like a ton of limp bricks.
Here's my problem, and I'm not the only one to feel this way. It seemed like with all the extra muscle that Marquez had packed on,* it seemed like he was a different fighter. In previous fights, Pacquiao was the one who seemed to have all the physical tools. Marquez had to be cunning and technical to score his points and wear Pacquiao down. There was a certain academic quality to it. And it seemed to be working, as many (if not most) people thought Marquez was robbed on the score cards in the third fight.
*Which raises questions on its own, especially given the company Marquez has been keeping.
By changing his physique, Marquez also changed his tactics. It was as if he gave up and said his old way of doing things just couldn't get over that hump. Which, maybe he has a point. He had lost the first three fights. But he was so close with it, it seemed a shame to see him go away from it now. The new strategy was to take punishment as needed, as long as he could pick that perfect spot and unleash his new guns at just the right spots. Effective, obviously. Pacquiao was reportedly out for two minutes. But it seemed much less artful than his old ways.
Contrarian? Maybe. And it's hard to harp on that point too much. Again, clearly the change in strategy paid off in a big way. And the fight was excellent. There are already rumblings for a fifth go around with these guys. I'm leaning towards "no way,