Manny Pacquiao was awarded a majority points decision over Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas, a decision met by boos and missiles from the crowd.
In an uncharacteristically slow start, Pacquiao was just able to edge the early rounds, but Marquez looked to hurt the Filipino in the fifth round with a straight right. He then drew blood from the champion and worked the body well in round eight. But the boxer thought my many as the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of his generation came back in dynamic fashion in the ninth.
Marquez stepped things up in the closing rounds and looked to have done enough to have won the contest, but the judges sided with the champion, with Dave Moretti (115-113) and Glenn Trowbridge (116-112) giving the fight to Pacquiao and Robert Hoyle marking it down as a 114-114 tie.
The decision was met with surprise and anger in the MGM Grand arena, and bottles and cans were hurled towards the ring. Marquez stormed off in disgust at the decision.
After the fight Pacquiao said, “My fans are very happy because they thought I won.” He seemed a relieved man and certainly did not appear to revel in the victory.
His opponent did not hold back in his post-match interviews. Referring to their last meeting in 2008 which also ended in a split decision in favour of Pacquiao, Marquez said, “This was the second robbery and this one was the worst. We won with clearer punches. It’s hard when you’re fighting your rival and the three judges too.”
While the 38-year-old can take much credit from once again going toe-to-toe with the champion, it will be of little consolation to him or his corner who – with some justification – thought they had done enough to secure the victory.