Las Vegas, NV, United States (4E Sports) – Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez finally got the win that he was chasing for eight years, pulling off a stunning sixth-round knockout win over bitter rival Manny Pacquiao in their fourth encounter Saturday at MGM Grand Arena.
Marquez unleashed a wicked counter right hand in the dying seconds of the sixth round that landed on the chin of Pacquiao, knocking Pacquiao out cold in the 2:59 mark.
“I knew Manny could knock me out at any time,” said Marquez, who improved his record to 55 wins against six losses and a draw. “I threw the perfect punch.”
“We worked on strength and we worked on speed and you saw the result,” added Marquez, who was trailing the judges’ scorecards, 47-46, before the knockout.
Marquez also floored Pacquiao in the third round with a right hand, while the Filipino boxer returned the favor in the fifth.
The victory was a vindication for Marquez, who repeatedly claimed that he was deprived of victories in their first three showdowns.
Pacquiao and Marquez fought to a controversial draw in their first meeting in 2004. The Filipino boxing superstar then won the next two fights in 2008 and 2011 via close decisions.
The bitter defeat was the second straight for Pacquiao after losing to Timothy Bradley several months ago. He dropped to 54 wins, five losses and three draws.
“He caught me with my hand down,” Pacquiao said. “That was an error and we corrected it. We worked strength, we worked speed and you can see the result.”
Despite the loss, Pacquiao said he’s not ready to retire, vowing to return to the ring next year better and stronger.
Pacquiao said he is open to a fifth encounter with Marquez. “Why not?” he said.
Promoter Bob Arum is also willing to arrange a fifth fight between the two protagonists. “Have you seen a better fight in years?” he asked.
Pacquiao earned at least $25 million while Marquez was guaranteed $6 million for the bout.
In other fights, former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa scored a 12-round unanimous decision over gutsy Filipino fighter Michael Farenas to claim the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super featherweight belt.
Gamboa, in his first fight in 15 months, decked Farenas in rounds two and seven. However, the Filipino boxer also caught Gamboa with a left hook in round nine, putting him on the canvas.
However, the judges gave their nod to Gamboa via scores of 117-109, 118-108, 117-108. Gamboa improved to 34-4-4, with 26 KOs while Farenas suffered his first loss in 23 fights with 16 knockouts.
IBF lightweight champion Miguel “Titere” Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs) outpointed previously unbeaten Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KOs) over twelve rounds. Vazquez easily outboxed Gesta from the onset to win 117-111, 119-109, 118-110.
Javier Fortuna (21-0, 15 KOs) bagged the vacant WBA interim featherweight belt, outpointing Patrick Hyland (27-1, 12 KOs) via unanimous decision. Scores were 118-110, 116-112, 115-113.
USA Olympian Jose Ramirez (1-0) started his professional debut on a winning note, scoring a first-round knockout of Corey Siegwarth (2-2) in a scheduled four-round lightweight attraction.
Filipino fighter Dodie Boy Penalosa improved to 10-0 with 10 knockouts as he downed Jesus Lule Raya in the second round of a scheduled eight-round featherweight bout.
In an eight-round featherweight action, Ernie Sanchez (14-3, 5 KOs) defeated Coy Evans (10-2-1, 2 KOs) via unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 78-73, 78-73 and 78-74.
Alexis Hernandez defeated Jazzma Hogue by TKO in the first round of their featherweight bout.