MANILA, Philippines – Juan Manuel Marquez made sure it won’t go to the scorecards this time.
Marquez left no doubt as to who’s the better fighter between him and Manny Pacquiao, knocking the Filipino icon out cold on his belly to settle the score in their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas today.
The end came at the end of the sixth round as Pacquiao walked straight into a booming right hand by Marquez. Pacquiao crumbled down to the canvas and stayed motionless for some time, and referee Kenny Bayless immediately waved off the fight.
The official time of the knockout was 2:59 of Round 6.
"I threw the perfect punch. I saw he was going for a 1-2. I stepped into the right and hit him," a vindicated Marquez said of the devastating blow that broke the hearts of millions of Filipinos.
It was a fitting end for Marquez, whose vastly improved physique translated into more power. The Mexican decked Pacquiao with haymaker in round 3 to the shock of Filipino fans in the packed venue. Pacquiao beat the count and managed to recover near the end of the round.
"I'm very happy. Four and a half months (of training) led to this. I knew I was strong and I was quick. It led to this," Marquez added.
In another epic fight, the two fighters were involved in some vicious exchanges, like they did in their previous three fights. Pacquiao shrugged off the first knockdown and sent Marquez to the canvas in the fifth canto with a sneaky left straight.
Pacquiao pummeled Marquez for the rest of the round and appeared to be in control in the next canto. That is, until he got knocked out cold.
The knockout likewise stunned the Filipino crowd in attendance, with Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee shown sobbing as her husband lay still on the canvas.
The loss was Pacquiao’s third by way of knockout, having been previously stopped by compatriot Rustico Torrecampo and Thailand’s Medgoen Singsurat.
Marquez improved to 54-6-1, with 40 KOs.