Steve Bunce on Boxing: Manny Pacquiao grudge match looks a real knockout

He leads by two wins, but many believe the true score is 3-0 to Marquez

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have shared the ring in three championship fights, fought to a gruesome standstill in most of the 36 completed rounds and will do it again on Saturday in one of boxing's best rivalries.

So far the score is two wins for Pacquiao, after the first fight ended in a draw, but there are many in the fight game that believe the true score should be 3-0 in Marquez's favour. The three judges in the three fights have sat and scored 108 rounds and their final tally is remarkable: 54 rounds to 54 rounds. None of the same officials will take a seat on Saturday at the MGM in Las Vegas.

"I never wanted the second fight, the third fight and I certainly never wanted this fourth fight," said Freddie Roach, who has shaped Pacquiao into arguably the best boxer of the last decade. "Manny wanted this fight and he wants to end the controversial series with a knockout."

The pair last fought in November 2011 in the same MGM ring and the fight lacked some of the intensity of the previous two encounters. However, when it was over it looked like Marquez had finally gained some degree of revenge, but the judges returned a majority decision with two going for Pacquiao and one returning a drawn verdict. It seemed to me at the time that the last result had more to do with keeping alive the fight between Pacquiao and the reclusive Floyd Mayweather, a fight that is thought would generate half a billion dollars for the ailing Vegas economy; Mayweather has beaten Marquez easily but has spent five years agreeing and dismissing terms for a Pacquiao showdown.

"Everybody knows that the last fight was not even close," claimed Marquez during a conference in LA three weeks ago when nobody in the Pacquiao business said a word in disagreement. "It was easy for me on the night and this time I will have to knock him out." Pacquaio, according to Roach, slipped him a piece of paper and written on it was : "I need a knockout."

Eight years ago in the first fight Marquez was over three times in the opening round, but cleared his head, survived and according to one judge won 10 of the 12 rounds. At the end of the fight it was declared a draw – with the judges splitting their vote one for Marquez, one for Pacquiao and one a draw – and a natural and immediate rematch was delayed as Pacquiao met and beat quality fighters and Roach stuck firm to his belief that "Marquez is all wrong for Manny."

In the 2008 second fight at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, it was a split decision in Pacquiao's favour 2-1. "If my hand had been raised in the first two fights then I believe that I would be the big star," said Marquez, whose anger last year after losing once more led him to vow never to fight Pacquiao again. "I changed my mind, I want to retire with a victory over him."

They have each been in some of modern boxing's greatest fights, winning titles from flyweight to light-middle and sharing multimillion-dollar nights in the ring. However, they are each insisting that this time it is personal and perhaps in this cynical age, where calculated risks in all sports are rare, they just might be telling the truth.

Suggested Topics
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried