Pacquiao retains title in disputed points win
HUGE controversy surrounded the result of the trilogy fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas after the Filipino was awarded a victory by majority decision on the judges' cards.
Just as they did after the last meeting in 2008, the Marquez camp described the verdict as "a robbery," while Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, and trainer, Freddie Roach, concurred that a rematch should be offered to the Mexican.
Pacquiao had insisted he wanted this fight "to be conclusive," but it clearly was not.
The fight split the judges, ringside observers and crowds of furious fans in the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena as the fighting congressman from the Philippines won for the second time against Mexican fighter Marquez.
Their first meeting was drawn.
Empty water bottles and plastic beer bottles rained down on the press ranks from disgusted Marquez fans when the 114-114, 115-113, 116-112 scores were read out, the last two in favour of Pacquiao.
Pacquiao's ringside interview with host broadcasters Home Box Office could not be heard above the din of catcalls and booing.
Your correspondent scored it a draw, with Pacquiao having needed to win the last three rounds on my card to do so.
By then, the assault of Marquez, the brave Mexican warrior, was waning as his body tired.
Pacquiao came into his own, but, only when it became a rough and tumble fight, did the Filipino enjoy any kind of ascendancy in the Las Vegas bout.
In what transpired to be a very close fight, Pacquiao seemed stuck between two stools by trying to outbox the boxer, instead of employing the all-action style which has brought him so much success in the past.
Marquez boxed skilfully and cleverly, dominating the middle rounds of the WBO welterweight title contest, his counters nullifying Pacquiao's attempts to draw him into a fight.
Pacquiao (32) six years younger than Marquez, rallied in the late rounds, but this will rate as one of the fighting politician's poorer performances.
The Filipino, who appeared late for the news conference after having had 28 stitches in a one-and-a-half inch gash on his right eyelid, said: "It was clear to me that I won the fight.
"I don't blame the way the Marquez fans feel, but I blocked a lot of his punches and he headbutted me a lot."
Pacquiao, the only boxer to earn world titles in eight weight divisions, will earn $25m (€18m) for this fight, with a further $10m (€7.2m) expected from an anticipated 1.5 million pay-per-view television sales.
Marquez earned $5m (€3.6m) from the fight. (© Daily Telegraph, London)