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Jorge's Corner
The Voice of Boxing in Central and Northern California


Marquez Vs. Pacquiao

May 8, 2004

Boxing fans across the country were treated to an excellent display of fighting spirit. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which has hosted many terrific boxing events, scored another hit. In this rare match of equally aggressive, intensive fighters, boxing fans were given a opportunity to witness first hand why my friend George Foreman says “boxing is the sport other sports aspire to be.“  Manny Pacquiao (38-2-1, 30 KO’s) a tremendous puncher with juice enough to light the city of New York earned his right to be here by defeating Marco Antonio Barrera. He also beat, undefeated Emmanuel Lucero. Manuel Marquez (42-2-0,33 KO’s) has also earned his way into this spot via his courage and take no prisoners style. Anyone who as seen these two tough guys go for it, knew it would be a punch till you bust event. We were not disappointed. Both of these guys love to fight, both come from poor backgrounds, and both are hungry. As the civil rights movement leader, Martin Luther King once said and they both are keeping their eyes on the prize.

The bell rang and both fighters came out aggressively, both demonstrated excellent hand speed. Marquez tried to take control throwing hard punches; Pacquiao ignored these attempts and came back equally as aggressive. In a beautiful display of balance and timing, Pacquiao nailed Marquez with a solid left cross, and bang, down he went. Joe Cortez, stepped in, gave Marquez an eight count, Marquez, hurt yet, unwilling to surrender, stepped into the fray and threw a combination that was met with an equally intense effort by Pacquiao and pow, down he went again. Again, Marquez gathered himself, and took another eight count. Pacquiao sensing victory within easy reach, attacked like a hungry shark, and again put Marquez on the mat. Again Joe Cortez stepped in and gave him an eight count. Thanks to the no 3 knock down rule, Marquez was allowed to continue with less than 33 seconds in the round, Marquez did what he had too and survived. Pacquiao demonstrated tremendous power in his left hand. Marquez learned he could not trade with Pacquiao. Second Round; Marquez tired to fight a little smarter. Marquez bled from both nostrils and seemed to get better as the fight progressed. Manny Pacquio attacked continuously moving side to side, moving in behind his never ending right jab, while Marquez developed his counter punches and learned to measure Pacquiao’s movements so as to move away while still punching. Both fighters demonstrated excellent conditioning and neither willing surrender attitude. Coach's and corner men worked equally as impressively and managed to pull the best out of their respective fighters. Joe Cortez, again proved he deserves to be up there as the third man in the ring. My Congratulations go out to this steadfast gentleman who via his excellent performance and training kept the fight moving along with as little interference as necessary. Way to go Joe!

The entire battle was a thing of beauty. Neither fighter giving ground and neither willing to concede defeat. It was a rare opportunity for fight fans to witness such a tremendous display of complete dedication. Marquez adopted a different posture, which confused Pacquiao and somehow made him less effective. Marquez deserves a lot of praise for being able to adapt to the situation and continue the battle. This rare quality is a sign of intelligence and flexibility. This fight maybe one of the ones I watch several times, it was that good. The scorecards, as usual make you wonder which fight the judges were watching. It also makes you wonder where they dig up these guys. It could be said that Marquez dodged a bullet; I would say it grazed him. After the scorecards were totaled up, it came up with a majority draw. I however, saw it for Pacquiao. I believe he won it and should have been given the decision. On the up side we can all look forward to a rematch and can with some assurance expect an even better fight. Marquez deserves praise for his willingness to stay in the fray and give as good as he got.

The announcer, Larry Merchant, who has never entered the ring himself, yet calls himself an “expert“ again made his usual ridicules statements. I am disappointed at his performance. It continues to be a mystery as to why HBO would hire him to do ringside commentating. I find many of his statements disrespectful and completely inappropriate. I’m sorry my buddy George Foreman didn’t sit on him. To bad he missed an opportunity to shut him up. I believed that with a little training, there are many articulate boxers who could replace him. In my opinion he brings nothing to the game and often disrespects it. In a perfect world, none combatants would not be allowed to express their naive observations about a game they cannot genuinely appreciated. Larry Merchant must live under a lucky star or be married to the producer’s daughter, to have been given such a prestigious positions without any qualifications. So he’s a sports writer, big deal, Sport experts are a dime a dozen. It seems more and more that as much as I hate to admit it, it’s who you know. I am a sports writer and I know a many hungry, ex fighters with enough on the ball to do as good or better a job without insulting the sport. I believe the fans and the fighters deserve better. I suggest HBO assign him to cover the dog shows or the dog races. This guy is as boring as Oprah, who no matter who is on her show and no matter what experience they have endured, she knows all about it, and has had it too. If we must put up with another know-nothing ringside commentator, at least give the fans some eye candy, not this loud mouth half pint with a stinky attitude. His wit and humor are as dull as President Bush speeches.

We should also suggest Manny Pacquiao donate some of his DNA to science so that it can be reproduced. There are millions of lazy, know-nothing individuals who could use a shot of Pacquiao’s magic. I am constantly stunned at had how low the bar as dropped, not only has mediocrity become normal, it seems to be contagious. Thank God, these two fighters are made of better stuff. Which is why I find Merchant’s statements so offensive. These men are warriors, they deserve respect, the least would be to remove all none warriors from ring side, or at least remove the microphones and give 'em brooms. It is rare that a fight in this weight class generates such excitement. My hat goes off to both these men, they have earned their place in Valhalla, where as the Vikings say, “ the brave may live for ever”. Fights fans can look forward to seeing both of the men, thank God. After all the black marks against boxing, these men have managed to lift it up, at least for a while.  

Always in Your Corner,

Jorge A. Martinez