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Can Manny Pacquiao bounce back from that devastating knock out loss to Marquez?

Marquez delivers the KO punch of the decade......

Saturday night was not as cold as it seems when Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was devastatingly knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez with a perfectly executed crisp right straight at exactly 2:59th minute of the sixth round.

Pacquiao started chasing Marquez and landed good shots in rounds one and two until Marquez suddenly surprised Pacman in the third round with an overhand right power shot that knocked down the pound-for-pound king for the first time in the bout and in the previous 36 rounds that they had squared off so far.

After that knock down, Marquez was thinking that he has the power to knock Pacquiao cold in the later rounds.

Pacman tried to recover and still chased and pressed the attack mode button more fiercely that in the fifth round, he caught Marquez with a power left to the face and Marquez went down with his gloves touching the canvas which was ruled a knock down by referee Kenny Bayless and gave Marquez a mandatory eight count.

Pacquiao tried to finish Marquez with equally powerful blows in the sixth and had the Mexican near the corner end of the ropes when Marquez anticipated Pacman’s 1-2 combination and launched what could be the knock out punch of the decade that had the people’s champ went crushing face down to the canvas.

Boxing fans were shocked in disbelief and wondered where did Marquez got those power that in his near retirement age of 39, he was able to deliver a power shot that in their previous fights has not had and demonstrated as part of his arsenal.

For sure, Marquez was able to exonerate the ghosts that haunted him losing to Pacquiao in two previous fights and a draw in their first fight which all ended in controversial fashion. The Mexican future hall of famer claimed he should have won those previous fights but lost and drew on the judges' scorecards.

A vindication of some sort indeed for Marquez but boxing pundits and expert analysts who had Pacquiao a 2-1 favorite before the fight were saying that there might be some doubt as to Marquez’s newly found punching power.

His trainer, Angel Hernandez a.k.a. Angel “Nemo” Heredia has been involved in giving performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to his athletes including more notably US Olympic champion sprinter Marion Jones. He dealt with US coach Trevor Graham who distributed the drugs to his famed athletes. Both Heredia and Graham admitted guilt for selling and distributing these banned substances but Heredia was spared from prosecution as he turned state witness against Graham.

Marquez’s conditioning coach Hernandez denied that his present prized boxer is tainted with this allegation and attested that the Mexican champion is clean all his life and is only using supplements, weight training and diet to make him faster and stronger.

Pacquiao too was accused by the Mayweather camp of using PEDs but his conditioning coach Alex Ariza has not been known of administering banned substances to his athletes. He also claimed that they are only using legal supplements, correct nutrition and plyometrics in making Pacquaio a super athlete he is today. Pacquiao is a boxer-puncher, having demonstrated his knock out power ever since his stint in the flyweight and other weight divisions lower than the welterweight and superwelterweight divisions.

With the knock out loss of Pacquiao to Marquez, sports analysts are now saying that Pacquiao’s punching power is waning for not having knocked out his opponents Margarito, Shane Mosely, Bradley and Marquez in their third fight and now he was the one knocked out in their fourth fight.

Looking back in their fourth fight, Pacquiao still demonstrated his speed and punching power when he knocked down Marquez in the fifth round and was leading 47-46 before that fateful 6th round knock out.

What Pacquiao failed to do is he had lapses in defending against Marquez’s newly acquired right hand punching power. Instead of veering away from it, he tends to go forward right into it. Marquez capitalized on this and timed his counter knowing Pacquiao will be wide open when firing and missing his forward 1-2 combinations.

From Pacquiao’s own words he says, “I became over confident and never saw that shot by Marquez.”

That is understandable as Pacquiao saw Marquez's bloodied nose and noticed that the Mexican champ was gasping for breath from his relentless assault as the bout turned into a brawl when Marquez traded blows with Pacquaio. Pacquiao was in control of the fight until the end came with a one-shot downer which is the decisive lucky perfect shot of the bout.

That shot reminded everyone of the Rustico Torrecampo shot that also knocked Pacquiao cold when he was swarming all over his compatriot until Torrecampo mustered all his strength and delivered that electrifying counter-punch that capitalized on the open defenseless jaw of Pacquiao when he was moving forward on the attack mode.

Is Pacquiao’s reflex waning and his body not as agile as it was when he was still the Mexicutioner bulldozing his way over Mexican champions like Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Moralez, David Diaz and even Marquez who he knocked down four times in the previous fights?

Definitely, Pacquiao still has not solved and able to cope up with Marquez’s counter-punching as his reflex and agility is not responding well to a skilled counter-puncher like Marquez.

If ever Pacquiao fights Floyd Mayweather who is a better counter-puncher and has beaten Marquez by a mile in their earlier fight, Pacquiao would have been beaten just the same. Pacquiao can beat Mayweather had they fought right after he fought Oscar de la Joya and Miguel Cotto when Pacquiao was still at the top of his game.

Right now, Pacquiao’s arsenal is clearly fading as he is turning 34 this December and has been planning to fight Mayweather in 2013. That Mayweather megabucks fight is now in limbo as he is now the clear underdog if ever he takes on the “Money” man.

Pacquiao is still planning to fight till 2014. Can he still recover from this knock out loss and be on top of his game by that time?

Many doomsayers are nagging Pacquiao to retire as he has already achieved a famed career of winning 8 titles in 8 weight divisions and has enough megabucks to enjoy life with his family as well as a well established career in politics. He is still running unopposed for reelection as congressman of Sarangani Province. He is still venerated as a hero and sports icon in the Philippines and the world despite his loss to Marquez.

Those achievements are even harder to surpass or match by any other boxer for decades.

Hall of Famer coach Freddie Roach who is on a losing streak this time (Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and now Pacquaio lost one after another) has this to say, “It’s really up to Manny… If he thinks he can still respond and his body is still responding well come training time, and if not then I’ll be the one to tell him to retire.”

People can still see fire in Manny’s eye despite that devastating and humbling defeat. He was still smiling despite being knocked out and he is humble as he was in victory or defeat.

When asked what will he do next after losing right after the bout, he says, “Losing, that’s part of the game. I was hit by a great shot and I did not see it coming. After this, I’ll rest and then train and fight again.”

Pacquiao is willing to fight Marquez again for the fifth time. He knows in his heart that he still has the speed and power to knock Marquez out as Marquez was feeling that Pacquiao is trying his all to knock him out as he was retreating in the corner in that fateful round.

Marquez seems to be unmindful of the prospects of another bout with Pacquiao. For sure, he can demand a higher megabucks fee and dictate the terms as he won a definitive punctuation to his rivalry with Pacquiao.

Though no title was at stake in the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 fight, Marquez will surely barge anew in the pound-for-pound ratings as he takes the lofty status Pacquiao used to have in the elite rankings in boxing.

Still, it’s not the end of the road for the Pacman, he can surely bounce back, all he need is keep on trying to solve the Marquez puzzle, focus a hundred percent on his training, toughen his jaw, retool his punching power, be hungrier as he will be hungrier now that he is in the underdog role, sharpen his tactics and resiliency.

He had been there in the lofty status, thus, he knows how to get there once again and is hoping to end his career on a high note. By Emmanuel L. Josue/Cyberzone Sports Chronicle; Photos: Julie Jacobson/AP

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Can Manny Pacquiao bounce back from that devastating knock out loss to Marquez?

Marquez delivers the KO punch of the decade......

Saturday night was not as cold as it seems when Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was devastatingly knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez with a perfectly executed crisp right straight at exactly 2:59th minute of the sixth round.

Pacquiao started chasing Marquez and landed good shots in rounds one and two until Marquez suddenly surprised Pacman in the third round with an overhand right power shot that knocked down the pound-for-pound king for the first time in the bout and in the previous 36 rounds that they had squared off so far. Read more about Can Manny Pacquiao bounce back from that devastating knock out loss to Marquez?

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