November 12 2011 marked the third time Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao faced each other.
Manny Pacquiao won via majority decision. Referee scorecard 114-114, 116-112, 115-113 in favor to Manny Pacquiao.
Why the indignation?
Because Manny Pacquiao didn’t knock out Juan Manuel Marquez, like he said he would? Or perhaps because Juan Manual Marquez “was robbed” and was the rightful winner?
No, rather, the cause of my indignation and disappointment came from the reaction of Juan Manuel Marquez, in a post-fight interview with Mario Lopez, the HBO host. His first statement was to say his got robbed, for the second time. Yes, the first thing he and his trainer did was to blame the judges and the organization.
For most of the fight, Pacquiao was the aggressor, while Marquez effectively counter-punched. Although Pacquiao threw and landed more punches, Marquez did seem to land the most effective combos. Thinking he was winning, Marquez shifted into a more defensive mode in the last few rounds, presumably to cut the chances of being ko’ed.
Why did his corner choose this strategy is beyond me. Marquez never clearly controlled the match, never sent Pacquiao to the floor, and for the most part, was not the aggressor. By going defensive in hope of preserving their presumed win was a gamble, since they essentially left their fates in the hands of the judges. They should have known their gamble could go against the, so whether they were robbed or not, they have only themselves to blame.
Marquez is no doubt a role model for many youth and the fact that he fought under the anthem of his home country, Mexico, should have reminded him to be graceful and classy, no matter his opinion on the outcome. Instead, he came across as a whiner and a sore-loser.
A real champion
Back in April 2003, Eric Lucas, then the WBC super-middleweight world champion fought Markus Bayer, in Bayer’s home country, Germany. After dominating, out-throwing and out-landing his adversary, Eric Lucas lost his title in a controversial split decision. TV commentators were stupefied and even German crowds loudly showed their disapproval of the decision. It was reported by French Canadian journalists that Beyer himself privately apologized to Lucas for the decision.
What did Lucas say, in his post-match interview? Markus Bayer is a good fighter, he is disappointed in the results and his loss was part of the game. Did he believe he was robbed? Certainly! Did he think it was unfair? Without a doubt! Did he complain and whine? Nope! Eric Lucas acted as a champion should, with humility, respect and elegance. To me, Lucas sportsmanship and respectful attitude is what made him a great champion and a great role model. If only the world of boxing had more champions like him…