Pacquiao-Marquez 3: Judge it with your head, not with your heart
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I'm not out to change your opinion. If you scored each round and saw that Juan Manuel Marquez was the winner, I respect that. However, if you just "felt" that Marquez won, if you forgot to score the fight round per round, we need to talk.
When judges score fights, context shouldn't matter. The best judges never favor champion over challenger or challenger over champion. They look beyond a fighter's record and history. No past. No future. Just the fight at hand. It's tough.
Different judges have different tastes. Some prefer aggressors; the ones who push the action and chase opponents all over the ring. Other judges focus on cleaner shots. Judges should also disregard continuity. What happens in round 5 shouldn't affect how judges score round 6. In reality, however, scoring a boxing match is not a perfect science. You already know that.
Just seconds after Manny Pacquiao defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, my Twitter timeline scorched with "Marquez was robbed" and "there is no way Pacquiao won that fight" type of posts. Though I expected some to score it for Marquez, the public outcry and robbery accusations caught me off guard. Actors, politicians, basketball players, singers, random guys, upset folk all tweeted and retweeted opinions. Messages were mostly against the decision. One quick-witted observer even remarked, "Like many legislative districts in the country, Marquez was robbed by a Filipino congressman."
The problem: a lot of fans who watched the fight were too emotional.
Many believed Marquez was a huge underdog. Hence, every time he connected with anything relevant, it seemed like he was achieving something important.
Many also expected Pacquiao to win by knockout. Thus, when Manny failed to floor Marquez, fans blamed Pacquiao for failing to deliver a KO.
Since Marquez had solid moments during the fight, since Pacquiao couldn't knock Marquez out, some fight fans believed Marquez should've been declared the winner.
I’ll use the first 6 rounds to drive home my point.
The first three rounds were close but, due to his aggression, Pacquiao was rewarded with all three in two of the scorecards while the third judge gave him two of the first three.
Rounds 4 and 5 were clearly Marquez-dominated rounds. He connected with left hooks, lead rights, and uppercuts in those two rounds.
By the start of round 6, observers who did not score it round by round might have assumed that Pacquiao was already behind. Multiple slow-motion replays demonstrating how Marquez tagged Pacquiao with head-shots surely fueled that impression. In reality, Pacquiao was still ahead by a round in two of the cards and only down by one in the remaining scorecard.
Pacquiao clearly won round 6. Therefore, Pacquiao was either up two rounds or tied with Marquez halfway through the fight. Yes, Marquez was brilliant in the fourth and fifth rounds. But since Marquez didn't do as well in the other rounds, he stilled trailed Pacquiao by the start of round 7.
The challenge: if you're still fuming over the majority decision, watch the fight again, turn the volume off, and score the fight round per round. We'll still have varying scores. But I assure you, doing this exercise will give you a clearer picture. It might convince you that Pacquiao indeed won or it may support your belief that Marquez deserved the nod. But I’m sure that if you break it down per round. You will see that it was a very close fight. But a robbery, ladies and gentlemen, this was not.
Pacquiao has been so dominant in the past that we have all been spoiled. Nothing but the total destruction of his opponents will suffice. This fight, more than anything, proves that Pacquiao is human, that he can look bad in some instances, that styles make fights. It was clearly not his best performance and it was far from the result that most of us expected. Fighting a close fight does not automatically make Pacquiao a loser.
Personally, I scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao. Yet a 115-113 result for Marquez was just as plausible. I would have been fine with a draw too. Again, if you scored it for Marquez, I don’t want to change your mind. Stick with your guns. What I want to change is the notion that Marquez was robbed. Close fights happen in boxing all the time. And in close fights, in the bitter reality boxing often provides, hearts are bound to be broken. - OMG, GMA News
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