Juan Manuel Marquez schocked the boxing world by knocking Manny Pacquiao out cold with a vicious right hand at the end of the sixth round Saturday night, putting a ferocious end to the fourth fight between the two boxers.
Pacquiao had been down in the third round but knocked Marquez down in the fifth and the two were exchanging heavy blows in the sixth round before Marquez threw a right hand that flattened Pacquiao face down on the canvas at 2:59 of the sixth round.
The referee waved the fight to an end as Marquez celebrated and the sold-out crowd at the MGM erupted. Pacquiao was down for about two minutes before his handlers managed to get him up.
After being helped to his corner, Pacquiao sat on a stool, blew his nose and stared vacantly ahead as his handlers cut his gloves off. It was a stunning end to a furious fight and it may have signaled the end of Pacquiao's career.
"I threw a perfect punch," Marquez said. "I knew Manny could knock me out at any time."
Marquez had vowed to finally beat Pacquiao after losing two close fights and settling for a draw in the first fight. But after Pacquiao knocked him down in the fifth round and was landing big left hands, it looked like it would be Pacquiao's night.
The two came out for the sixth round and the pace was just as relentless. Both were landing big punches and both were brawling when suddenly as the round came to close Marquez shot out a right hand that landed flush to the jaw of Pacquiao, who crumpled to the canvas in a heap.
"I felt he was coming to knock me out the last three rounds and I knew he was going to be wide open," Marquez said.
It was the second loss in a row for Pacquiao, who dropped a decision to Timothy Bradley in June and who had vowed to regain his prominence in the ring.
Pacquiao was aggressive from the opening bell, but paid the price in the third round when he got by a Marquez right hand that put him down. Pacquiao got back up and seemingly took control of the fight, dropping Marquez in the fifth round and landing the bigger punches until he was dropped
"I got hit by a punch I didn't see," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, who earned more than $20 million for the fight, was ahead 47-46 on all three scorecards after the fifth round.
- Juan Manuel Marquez's devastating knockout of Manny Pacquiao Saturday night generated a lot of reaction both within the boxing world and outside it. (With information from Reuters). Photo: Getty Images
- 'The first thing I would like to do is thank God for keeping Juan Manuel Marquez and I safe last Saturday night,' Pacquiao said in a statement. 'Congratulations to Juan Manuel. There are no excuses on my part. It was a good fight and he deserved the victory. I think the fans who saw us fight also won.' Photo: Getty Images
- For his part, Marquez admitted that 'I knew that Manny (Pacquiao) could put me out of action at any time. What happened was I hit him perfectly, but it wasn't a product of luck since I have trained and worked for a long time.' Photo: Getty Images
- One of the most notable reactions was from Floyd Mayweather Jr., who said he hoped that Pacquiao would recover and return to boxing like the true champion he is. Photo: Getty Images
- Mayweather also said that Pacquiao and Marquez are true champions, gave a good fight, and that is positive for boxing. Photo: Getty Images
- In addition, the American showed a softer side of himself as he sent his prayers and good wishes to Pacquiao and hoped for a speedy recovery. Photo: Getty Images
- Juan Manuel Marquez didn't leave the decision to the judges this time, knocking out Manny Pacquiao in the sxith round. Photo: Mexsport
- It was the most violent of the four meetings, with both boxers getting knocked down in the first fight rounds. Photo: Mexsport
- The first knockdown came fom Marquez in the third round. Photo: Mexsport
- Pacquiao countered with a knockdown of his own that broke Marquez' nose. Photo: Mexsport
- The first three rounds were even, with strong exchanges from both sides. Photo: Mexsport
- Pacquiao was controlling most of the rounds, connecting on a higher percentage of his shots than the Mexican. Photo: Mexsport
- The first warning shot came in the second round, as Pacquiao was clearly shocked by Marquez's strength. Photo: Mexsport
- At the end of the sixth round, a strong right jab by Marquez knocked Pacquiao out cold. Photo: Getty Images
- As Marquez celebrated, medics rushed over to Pacquiao, who remained unconscious on the ground. Photo: Getty Images
- Márquez, who took home a purse of $10 million compared to $25 million for Pacquiao, improved his record to 55-6-1 with 40 knockouts. Pacquiao, who suffered his second straight loss, fell to 54-5-2 with 38 knockouts. Photo: Getty Images
- It was the second straight loss for Pacquiao after a controversial defeat to Timothy Bradley in May. Photo: Getty Images
- Ana Barbara sang the Mexican anthem before the fight, though she had no voice and the fans in the stands had to help her along. Photo: Tomada de Twitter
- The singer also seemed to forget the words midway through the anthem. Photo: Mexsport
- In the undercard, Yuriorkis Gambow defeated Michael Farenas of the Phillipines by Unanimous decision. Photo: Mexsport
- Gamboa was returning to the ring after a year away, looking a bit rusty at times. Photo: Mexsport
- Gamboa dominated most of the fight, though Farenas was able to knock down Gamboa. Photo: Mexsport
- Gamboa, represented by 50 Cent, was introduced by the rapper himself, who was lowered from above the ring . Photo: Mexsport
- 50 Cent was the highlight thus far of what had been an underwhelming undercard. Photo: Tomada de Twitter
- Miguel 'Títere' Vázquez breezed to a decision win over Mercito Gesta. Photo: Mexsport
- Gesta, touted as the next Pacquiao, could never connect against the quicker Mexican. Photo: Mexsport
- The Mexican retained his lightweight title. Photo: Mexsport
- With the lulls of the early fights, the ring girls were loudly applauded by the fans. Photo: Mexsport
- The beauty of the girls helped to make fans forget the lack of action in the stands. Photo: Mexsport
- Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney met with Manny Pacquiao before the fight. Photo: Tomada de Twitter
- Fortuna won the WBA championship on points against Hyland. Photo: Mexsport
- Javier Fortuna defeated Hyland by unanimous decision in the first fight of the main card. Photo: Mexsport