Jobu reacts to Manny Pacquiao’s shocking defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Márquez on Saturday night.
When I first heard Manny Pacquiao was fighting Juan Manuel Márquez for the fourth time, I was pretty underwhelmed. Although I felt their last fight should have been won by Márquez (Pacquiao won in a controversial decision), the fact still remained that Pac Man was 3-0 against Márquez. Why did we need to see them fight yet again? As it turns out, the fight not only exceeded my expectations, it showed us something that we’d never seen before and might even have ended the career of one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time.
I must admit that I didn’t watch this fight. As I said before, the prospect of a fourth matchup between these two welterweights, especially one that wasn’t for a title, was not enticing enough for me to plop down the PPV fee. I received two different texts at nearly 1:00 AM telling me that Pacquiao had been knocked the [fudge] out, and began looking for pictures and video of said knockout. Stuff didn’t hit youtube until much later that night, so I managed to find it early Sunday morning after I woke up. What I saw was shocking.
By most of the accounts I had read, Pacquiao was actually winning the fight. Márquez had knocked him down with a surprise right in the third round, but Pacquiao had evened up the knockdowns with one of his own in the fifth. Manny then seemed to really take over the fight, getting the better of some heated exchanges throughout the fifth and sixth rounds. That’s until Manny made a big mistake. He said himself that he was just getting his confidence going and got a little careless as the sixth round was coming to a close.
With just a couple of seconds left in the round, Manny left himself undefended for a split second, and Márquez took advantage, landing a thunderous right in the corner that left Pacquiao face first on the mat, unconscious for what seemed like forever. It was only a couple of minutes, if that, but it was really scary to watch. One of the friends that texted me told me that she’d read a comparison that equated the scene in the ring on Saturday with the scene in Rocky IV (one of my favorites) when Apollo Creed is killed by Ivan Drago. I can honestly say that this is not the least accurate comparison ever made. The HBO cameras immediately cut to a sobbing and hysterical Jinkee Pacquiao, who was being restrained from getting to the ring where her husband lay unconscious. For me, it was a bit gratuitous for HBO to show that over and over, but I understand that emotions make for good television, so they’ll get a pass from me on this one.
As Márquez celebrated in one corner, Pacquiao finally regained consciousness, and the training staff and doctors got him onto the ring stool to check him out. It’s never pretty to see someone wake up like that after such a vicious knockout, and this was no exception. Manny looked dazed, lost, and probably concussed (he fell face first without being able to protect himself). We’ve seen a lot of great boxing careers end with the same visual, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how Manny’s great run ends.
Does Pacquiao need to box anymore? He took home $20MM for this fight. According to TheRichest.com, Manny made $67 MM this year alone from his boxing, endorsements, investments and his salary as a member of the Filipino House of Representatives. He also topped $40 MM in earnings in 2009 and 2010 (a rough 2011 saw him only rake in $25 MM). Clearly, at least hopefully, Manny doesn’t need the money anymore. With his position as a politician in his home country, it’s doubtful that he needs to fill his free time. He certainly doesn’t need to keep tarnishing his career and endangering his quality of life by continuing to fight either. I’ll be the first to say that I am certainly not an expert on Manny’s condition or remaining boxing skill, I just don’t see why a 34-year old with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank and a secondary career already line up needs to stay in the sport of boxing.
We all love watching Manny fight. He was easily the fighter of the decade for the 2000s (and was named as such by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)). He has thrilled with his fights for 17 years now, and I think enough is enough. We don’t want to see him end up like Muhammad Ali, who went out with a wimper in his last few fights and then began the fight against the injuries he endured throughout his career. My hope is that Manny takes the Oscar De La Hoya way out of the sport. Oscar realized his time was up, started his own promotion company and now probably makes more money than he ever did as a boxer.
All of that being said, Manny has already expressed his desire to fight Márquez for a fifth time, so I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw something like this happen again. There’s even the chance that Manny could come back from this knockout and avenge his loss (he was winning the fight, after all), but I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. Here’s hoping trainer Freddy Roach follows through on the statement he made in a New York Times article before the fight, and has “the talk” with Manny, and that former champ listens.
Freddy Roach’s Reactions to the Knockout
Featured image courtesy of: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports
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