It is unlikely that this will be the only article designating the shocking Juan Manuel Marquez knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao as the story of the year. In fact, I doubt you will find any others picking anything but this. In probably one of the easiest “Best of” designations ever given, with one thunderous right hook, Juan Manuel Marquez changed the course of boxing for the foreseeable future.
Going into their fight, it was clear to most that Manny had begun the inevitable decline that even the greatest eventually go through as they age and the wear and tear of accumulated bouts take their toll. Although outside of two judges giving the fight to Tim Bradley, nobody truly believed Pacquiao lost that fight, the fact that is was even up for debate was a sign that he was not quite as dominant as he had once been. Time and outside distractions, along with anything else that has been speculated were obviously factors affecting his performance. His fourth fight with Marquez, someone who had fought him so tough before, was going to be a big indicator of how full the gas tank was on Manny Pacquiao. If he could rebound with an impressive performance, fans would still have the dream match up of Manny and Floyd Mayweather to look forward to, even if there was no guarantee it would ever happen.
As the fight began, it was clear that Marquez was looking to take the fight to Pacquio, scoring an early knockdown. However, Manny came back with a ferocity he had not shown in a while, scoring his own knockdown and pulling ahead on most cards as the fight entered the fateful sixth. Then, just as the round was drawing to a close, a perfect right counter floored Manny, knocking him out cold. The arena and it seemed the entire world erupted as Manny lay face down motionless on the canvas. This time Marquez would not need the judges to tell him he had won the fight. It was clear just by looking at the carcass of Pacquiao on the canvas he had finally got the sweet victory that had eluded him three times prior.
But it was more than just a personal victory for Marquez. With the devastating loss by Pacquiao, boxing completely changed. For the past handful of years, talk about the sport was almost solely consumed with the possibility of a Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight. That was just about all that was focused on. Surely larger media outlets focused almost exclusively on it. Now, that fight is out the window, and fans must focus on something else. There is no longer a need for it as one of the two super powers in boxing has collapsed. Floyd Mayweather won the fight without ever having stepped in the ring with him.
It will be interesting to see where boxing goes from here. Hopefully, interest will not wane since the mighty Manny Pacquiao has fallen. There were so many great fights and so many new stars arriving that hopefully our attention will shift to them instead of drifting to other sports. We still have Floyd Mayweather all the drama that surrounds him. There are also plenty of young champions that are chomping at the bit to take the place of Manny. The upcoming year should be very interesting considering the changes that one single punch made. Only time will determine if the changes were for the better.