Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round of a non-title welterweight bout to defeat the Filipino boxer for the first time in four fights between the two.
Marquez knocked Pacquiao to the canvas with a strong right hand to the chin in the final second of the sixth round. He had also dropped Pacquiao in the third round, marking the first time he had knocked him down in 39 rounds.
“I tried to look for the knockout,” Marquez said in a televised interview with ESPN. “I feel very happy. I’m going to rest and celebrate this with my family, my country and all of the Mexicans around the world.”
Marquez, 39, improved to 55-6-1 with 6 knockouts.
“I never expected that punch,” Pacquiao said. “He got me with a good one.”
After being knocked down in the third, Pacquiao rebounded to drop Marquez in the fifth. Pacquiao, 33, said the early knockdown was due to overconfidence.
“I was starting to get careless because I thought I got him,” he said.
The loss dropped Pacquiao to 54-5-2 with 38 knockouts. Pacquiao said he has no plans to retire and would welcome a fifth fight.
“If they give it to us, why not?” He said. “My job is to fight.”
Pacquiao won a majority decision in the last of three previous meetings between the two fighters in November 2011. He won by one point when the two fighters met in March 2008 in a Super Featherweight match. Their first meeting in May 2004 for the featherweight championship ended in a draw. During those first two fights, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez four times.
“This is a very heartbreaking loss,” said Marita Graciano, a market vendor and Pacquiao fan in Manila who was teary eyed after the bout. ”I hope he can recover from this.”
In June, Pacquiao lost his welterweight title in his first defeat in seven years when two of three judges scored a World Boxing Association contest in favor of American Timothy Bradley. A five-person WBO panel later ruled that Pacquiao won the welterweight fight. The original decision in Bradley’s favor stood.
“Nothing changed,” said Edwin Lacierda, spokesman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino. “The Filipino nation’s admiration and support for Manny remains.”
Pacquiao earned $9 million from the Nevada Athletic Commission for the match, and Marquez received a $3 million paycheck. The totals don’t include the fighters’ shares of pay- per-view fees or ticket sales.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org