When I sat down to watch this fight again, I thought I was going to score it for Manny Pacquiao. He does the things I like to see as a judge. He backs the other guy up, he comes in with combinations, and he lands his punches with force. Each of these attributes is a considerable factor that I put towards winning rounds and subsequently winning fights. Originally, I had this fight for Juan Manuel Marquez by a pretty wide margin, but it was my birthday and I had a bunch of people over so maybe that swayed my decision.
My first observation is that Manny Pacquiao's jab is absolutely terrible in this fight. He is using it to judge distance and it is evident that there is no power behind this punch. It is simply a pawing jab and when it lands, it doesn't make an impact at all. If Manny would have landed a thousand of these jabs, I would still have him losing the fight because these punches are nowhere near effective.
The body language from Manny is actually terrible. This may be one of the first times that I have seen Manny visibly frustrated in the ring. Several times Manny threw his hands down and gave a big sigh. Not good.
Marquez's footwork is negating Manny's left hand and general aggressive nature. This is an extremely subtle point that the judges may have overlooked. Pacquiao is not backing up Marquez, but Marquez is avoiding Pacquiao's punches by moving back. Marquez is moving back to create a punching opportunity after Manny jumps in with his punches. Pacquiao's power is not forcing Marquez back, in fact this may have only happened once or twice in the fight. In fact the opposite happened far more frequently. Marquez's counter shots forced Manny to back up in order to avoid getting hit in the face/body.
Marquez's shots thudded while Manny's shots tapped. I'm not sure if this is evident on the HBO broadcast, but it is on the Primetime broadcast with Amir Khan announcing. If you have only watched the HBO feed, I would suggest seeking out this one, it's not hard to find. Whenever Marquez lands a punch it has a solid sound to it. It sounds like the punches not only hurt but are devastating. Based on the sound of Pacquiao's punches coupled with the reaction given by Marquez, they don't seem so powerful. Hard to tell if this is true, but the eyes and ears certainly point toward Marquez as having the more effective punching.
Tremendous body work by Marquez, especially the short left hook to the body. It was an extremely effective punch, one that Pacquiao seemed to wince at in more than one instance. Also this punch set up a beautiful straight right, which made Manny's head snap back. Marquez also used the right hook to the body to land solid shots on Manny. Judges always seem to discount body work as opposed to shots to the head and I have no idea why. In this fight Marquez was landing bombs to the body, and if the judges didn't see that they need to get their eyes checked.
Finally, even Roach thought that Manny was losing the fight just after midway through the fight. After the 7th round, Roach clearly says to Manny "Pick it up, we are falling behind." He can grandstand as much as he wants after the fight on twitter, but he thought Manny was losing the fight. Was Freddie just trying to motivate his fighter? You think Manny needs to be told to pick it up?
In the end, what was the reason Pacquiao/Marquez won the fight? Body work, ring generalship, and solid punches sealed the deal for me. However it was a close decision in my book with Marquez pulling out a 115-113 decision after taking the final two rounds. What observations changed the outcome of the fight in your mind?