Manny Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight title with a slim points victory over Juan Maniel Marquez but once again controversy surrounded the judges’ decision to award the fight to the Filipino.
The judges’ announcement was met with a barrage of cans and bottles as Marquez looked on in confusion before storming out of the ring.
“This was the second robbery and this one was the worst. We won with clearer punches,” he said after.
“It’s hard when you’re fighting your rival and the three judges too.”
The judges scored the fight 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112, a split decision similar to that which decided the pair’s 2008 clash which left a bad taste in Marquez’s mouth as he had cause to believe he had won that fight – as he did their 2004 meeting which ended a draw.
A 7/1 underdog, the Mexican counter puncher controlled for long stretches, landing a number of clean punches as Pacquaio looked less than impressive.
Marquez’s defensive style once again frustrated and it wasn’t until the ninth round that Pacquaio looked close to his explosive best, he certainly won the rounds 9-11 but the Las Vegas crowd felt that it wasn’t enough to warrant a victory.
Pacquaio also edged the cagey opening two rounds but Marquez was setting the pace of the fight and landed a crashing right in the fifth and drew blood in the eighth before the champion’s response.
The champion’s fight back meant that it was probably a draw going into the last round which Marquez seemed to win.
The 38 year old three-division champion celebrated what he felt was a clear victory at the final bell – but once again the judges’ had other ideas and Marquez, an American reporter said, “was robbed of a decision by judges who were either blind or corrupt.”