Q: Did Juan Manuel Marquez hit Manny Pacquiao with a lucky punch?
A: After Juan Manuel Marquez finally defeated Manny Pacquiao—this time via knockout to avoid getting shafted yet again by the judges—a lot of people (see: certified Pactards) have been calling that wicked right straight that connected flush to the Pacman’s jaw a lucky punch.
Let’s define lucky, shall we?
Winning the lottery; finding a thousand bucks under your mattress; going on a long flight and not having any of the Twilight movies as the in-flight entertainment; actually having a handful of thinking congressmen pass the Reproductive Health Bill; not dying young after spending all your waking hours eating fatty food, smoking, drinking, fornicating with anyone on two legs, and doing drugs; getting promoted even though you work a total of two hours per day while you devote the rest of your working hours to watching porn—you get the drift.
But that punch, my friends, was far from lucky. Marquez had trained for four months not just to improve physically but also to prepare his fight plan with long-time trainer, Nacho Beristain. (On that note, let me just say that one of the advantages of having a lengthy training camp is that it’s a great opportunity to discuss with your trainer your game plan and strategy and any adjustments that might be needed come fight night. In other words, a training camp is also the perfect place where boxer and trainer can make sure that they are both on the same page strategy-wise.) In fact, they were working on that punch while at training camp, and Marquez even knocked down a sparring partner using a similar punch. If Nacho is to be believed, they even managed to knock out a guy with that same punch.
“Some have said that Marquez’s victory was a result of a lucky punch. Lucky? It was a punch that we practiced many times in the gym, and that this time it worked. There is a small group [of people] who do not like us, who want to downgrade Juan Manuel’s achievements. We closed a lot of mouths with this victory. For some time, Juan has been testing various combinations, different punches. He was waiting for his opponent’s attack, and then make a move to the left side and release the full power of [the punch]. The fight was hard because Juan and Pacquiao know each other so well, but the moment came and the knockout came.”
I think it’s high time we did away with the excuses and give Marquez the credit he deserves for being such an intelligent boxer and one of the best counterpunchers the sport has ever seen.
Yup, indeed, luck favors the prepared.
Q: Is Juan Manuel Marquez on performance-enhancing drugs?
A: Let’s answer that question with another question: Has Manny Pacquiao been on performance-enhancing drugs the past few years?
Pacquiao started his professional boxing career seventeen years ago, in 1995, as a minimumweight, at 105 pounds. Now he’s campaigning at welterweight, at 147 pounds. That means he has since climbed up eleven weight divisions and has brought his speed, tough chin, and punching power with him every time he moved up. Cases in point: He destroyed Oscar De La Hoya and sent him to retirement; he beat up Antonio Margarito and reconfigured his mug; and he sent Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Ricky Hatton to the canvas. He made Joshua Clottey cower in fear for twelve agonizing rounds. All those were bigger men, and Pacquiao mopped up the floor with all of them. Not only that, Pacquiao ate all those bigger guys’ best shots and didn’t even flinch.
Was Pacquiao able to steamroll all of those bigger men and absorb their power punches because he was using PEDs? Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his camp seems to think so. In fact, Floyd Jr. was so convinced that Pacquiao was juiced-up, he went on ranting about it and accused Manny that he has been taking steroids, which earned Floyd a lawsuit.
We can’t say conclusively that Pacquiao used performance-enhancing drugs because he hasn’t really undergone any Olympic-style drug testing like Nonito Donaire has. But is it fair to label Pacquiao a doper just because it looked or appeared like he did because of what he was able to show inside the ring? Of course not. Without proof, without evidence, we have to consider those wins by Pacquiao as legitimate ones, suspicions notwithstanding. So the same can be said for Juan Manuel Marquez. Without proof, I’d chalk up Marquez’s newfound power at 147 pounds the result of his rigorous, distraction-free training.
Of course, speaking about this whole PEDs thing, it must be said that professional boxing must adapt a more stringent way to detect doping among its athletes. Boxing is a very dangerous sport, and using illegal substances to inflict more damage on an opponent is criminal. We all know that the urine tests don’t really work, so perhaps it’s high time that boxing organizations and promoters take the lead in coming up with standardized doping tests that would include mandatory blood examinations before and after a fight or even random testing throughout the year. We need to be serious about all this and not wait until someone’s life hangs in the balance, considering that boxing—in and of itself even without the doping—is already a potentially deadly sport.
UPDATE: Apparently, Freddie Roach owes Juan Manuel Marquez a kiss on the ass. According to a report in BoxingScene, before the fight, Roach was suspicious of Marquez’s new muscular body. Roach said that if Marquez’s new body was “natural,” the five-time trainer of the year would kiss the Mexican boxer’s ass.
Well, of course Marquez came out clean, as well as Pacquiao. Even if he were doping, the outdated urine tests by the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t find out shit.
I’m sure as hell, though, that Freddie Roach isn’t kissing any Mexican ass any time soon.
Q: Did Juan Manuel Marquez intentionally step on Pacquiao’s foot the entire fight in order to gain an unfair advantage?
Yes. Here is the unbiased truth, according to the Comedy Cartel’s Tim Tayag:
“As CLEARLY seen in this photo, Marquez stepped on Pacquiao’s toe, a common NINJA TRICK that restricts the medial plantar nerve, causing unconsciousness WITHOUT the use of force.”
There you have it, the unbiased truth. However, if you want the biased truth, here’s a previous post I wrote right after Pacquiao-Marquez III regarding this stupid foot-stomping thing.
Q: Are boxing photographers allowed to take pictures of fighters that have been knocked out?
Photographers are allowed to take pictures of African boxers, Mexican boxers, British boxers, Mexican-American boxers, and other boxers that have been knocked out, except for one nationality: Filipino.
Boxing photographers need to sign a document before being given accreditation to a fight, and this document states that they are not allowed to take pictures of any Filipino boxer who has just been knocked out. Any photojournalist in violation of this signed document can—and will—be mauled by members of said boxer’s entourage, preferably by one overweight assistant trainer and one “adviser” whose job description includes sleeping at the foot of his boss’s bed and cutting his boss’s steak during meals.