Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
No matter how many times you utter it, write it, or even begin to try to comprehend it, your head gets dizzier and dizzier.
The sight of Manny Pacquiao out cold, face flat on the canvas, is something you probably never expect to see in this lifetime. But it happened after Juan Manual Marquez landed one of the most vicious straight hands in boxing history with a second left in the 6th round, sending Pacquiao plummeting to the canvas and taking that prized Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight down with him.
Marquez, a 3/1 underdog leading up to fight, fulfilled his promise to put an exclamation point on this rivalry and excoriate all those demons from the first three fights. The man known as Dinamita did just that, and holy shit, was that one of the most devastating exclamation points anybody has seen in a long time.
The punch that shook the world and knocked Manny out for a loop came after a round where the Filipino was actually winning handily. After getting knocked down in the third round courtesy of another lunging Marquez right, Pacquiao came back with a vengeance, even putting his rival down with a left of his own and busting the Mexican’s nose in the process. In the sixth, it was more of the same as the two threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other, although it appeared that Pacman was landing the more telling blows.
Turns out, Dinamita saved his best for last, and with one punch turned the boxing world upside its head.
So what does this mean now for the legacies of the two legends?
The answer’s easy for Marquez. He finally has that coveted win against Pacquiao and more importantly, he did it in the most convincing of fashion. No longer will people consider him as Manny’s bridesmaid. He’s standing shoulder to shoulder now with the man many consider as one of the two best pound for pound fighters in the world. That we all know now and there’s absolutely no excuse for anybody to think otherwise.
On the flip side, there’s a huge chink in the legacy of Pacquiao now, especially after people can point to Marquez’s stunning knockout as weighing heavier – literally and figuratively – on people’s minds than the two disputed decisions under the Filipino’s belt. Nobody can defend Pacquiao as being better than Marquez after he just took one of the scariest knockouts you’ll ever see. Far worse, in our opinion, than the punch Manny blasted on Ricky Hatton back in 2009.
This fight altered the legacies of these two men. For better or for worse, we won’t think of Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez the same way after this. The two have always been and will always be linked to one other the same way Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson, and Arturto Gatti and Micky Ward were.
But if there were questions before regarding Marquez’s status compared to Pacquiao, the former answered it in resounding fashion.
One punch was all it took. One debilitating right hand that sent PacMan down and out on the canvas. If Juan Manuel Marquez wanted validation, he has it now, and he did so in the most convincing way possible.