Quijano: Pac-Mar IV deserves Fight of the Year award

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NOW that the votes have been tallied, The Ring Magazine has announced that Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV was 2012’s “Fight of the Year”.

That’s adding insult to injury, some Pinoy boxing fans decry.

Yes, I do admit it’s quite difficult to accept for some, but indeed that fight deserves the Fight of the year accolade.


FACTORS. In determining the FOTY, several criteria come into play. We don’t just consider just the sheer brutality aspect but also the impact and the importance of that particular fight.

Marquez-Pacquiao IV had all the makings of another classic duke-out between the archrivals, but the dramatic and unexpected denouement of the fight probably was the decisive factor.

Initially, the public response to the announcement of the fight was lukewarm compared to the raucous reception generated by its three predecessors.

But as fight day drew near, the fans warmed up.

In terms of significance, this was a fight between two of the top ten pound-for pound fighters in the sport.

More importantly, it was also a fight that was touted to end and clear any and all controversies in their three previous encounters.

The actual fight itself was action-packed from the get-go and was fought in ebbs and tides with each fighter having his moment, only for the other to wrest it away by landing another combination at the very next second.

Most of all, the climactic finish was totally surprising. So much so that Marquez himself looked dumbfounded the moment he realized he knocked out Pacquiao.

So, casting our personal preferences aside and our collective shock and disappointment at Pacquiao’s unexpected knockout, let’s take a step back and appreciate the fight as the best for the year 2012.

OTHERS. A close second was the pier 6 brawl between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. Now, that was one violent caveman-type slugfest.

If these two fight again (and they should this year), better hide the women and children.

Another match-up that merits mention is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez. In that fight, Martinez was boxing Jr.’s ears off for 10 rounds when the youngster came alive in the championship rounds and nearly scored a knockout.

Orlando Salido-Juan Manuel Lopez 2 also merits consideration. In the rematch, Lopez fought better at the start and knocked down Salido in the 5th round, but the latter rallied furiously to stop Lopez again.

ROUND OF THE YEAR. According to The Ring Magazine the honor belongs to Round 5 of Pacquiao-Marquez IV based on the voting, but my personal favorite is round 12 of Chavez Jr. –Sergio Martinez.

In that fight, Martinez was pitching a shutout when Jr came alive and hurt him badly in the 11th. The stage was set for a dramatic struggle in the 12th round between a brilliant boxer who badly needed to hang on and preserve his lead and a wounded, battered puncher who had to give it his all in the final round to steal the victory.

Martinez started jabbing and moving around while Chavez continued to stalk him. Then, at around the one minute mark, Chavez catches him with a right then a left and Martinez staggers, but continues to lash out with jabs and straights.

Twenty seconds later, Chavez catches him along the ropes, unleashes a series of powerful blows that has Martinez nearly falling outside the ropes. Martinez flops down and the crowd goes wild.

He gets up at the count of 7, badly bloodied and battered, but soldiers on. Incredibly he withstands another brutal Chavez attack and falls, but the ref rules it a slip.

The two men continue to trade in the center of the ring as the seconds tick by.

Chavez seems arm-weary from all the punching but Martinez looks like he could go at any second. The bell then rings to signal the end of the fight with both men at the center of the ring.

Martinez secures the victory, but that last round gave the moral victory to Chavez Jr .who felt that Martinez did not really win it, but merely survived.

How much more compelling can it get for one round of fighting?

LAST ROUND. It’s on a dear friend, Blanch Regual-Braun who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 09, 2013.


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