On Saturday, December 8, 2012, we witnessed a truly special night. It was one that left BLH buzzing for hours past it's peak. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao engaged in what was seemingly the last battle to a long and bloody war. One that would inevitably decide which of the two men was superior. I care little about the three previous bouts, however great they were, because this one night would top them all. It was not even the night itself, nor the action that it carried, but a single right hand that would echo through the heavens. One perfectly placed counter/perfectly timed right hand would shake the very foundation of a once deemed "dying sport".
This single punch achieved what so many had tried and failed in the past 14 years. Greats and HOF were rendered incapable by a God of the sport. Manny Pacquiao had left a trail of devastation and pain in his wake. Morales, Barrera, Mosley, De La Hoya, Cotto, Margarito, Hatton, Diaz, Bradley, and Clottey had all been victims of the invincible Pacquiao. A man whose accomplishments had transcended the very sport, had met his match. An unlikely challenger would prove to be his greatest rival and executioner.
After three incredibly close fights, a single blow to the chin would decide it all. With only seconds to go, Juan Manuel Marquez delivered to his rival a punch that not only carried the hope and pride of a nation, but the power and conviction of a man on the brink.
Just like that, one perfectly delivered fist erased what was only seconds before known as fact. After the silence/shock/awe, only one man stood in the squared circle. It was a tired, battered and over joyous old man. One that had finally caught his white whale.
On the floor lay a god; not dead, but bleeding. The god was invincible no more, the great Manny Pacquiao had been made human. This was of course no fault of Pacquiao, but simply the accumulation of years of frustration and the refining of a weapon that could kill a god.
This one weapon, when used correctly, showed the world why it is that Boxing has two names. Just as Mr.Hyde was the darkest manifestation of Dr. Jekyll, that one punch was the perfect manifestation of this sport's beauty and brutality.
It was:The Sweet Science and the Cruelest Sport.