by Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40KOs) knocked Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38KOs) out cold in the sixth round of their fourth and likely final battle. Their first fight, in 2004, ended in a twelve round draw, with Pacquiao winning close controversial decisions in 2008 and 2011.
Marquez looked stronger, but Pacquiao was quicker and may have done enough to grab the first round. Pacquiao certainly grabbed the second with quicker, accurate punches.
In the third round, Marquez made the pro-Mexican arena explode when he landed a huge right hand that put Pacquiao down on his back. Pacquiao appeared to recover well and traded punches with Marquez at the bell. It was the first time Pacquiao was "dropped legit" since he was a flyweight.
Pacquiao boxed well in the fourth, but Marquez may have stolen it close at the end with a flurry of shots.
In the fifth we saw a classic. It was Pacquiao who returned the favor with a huge left hand that made Marquez go down due to his glove touching the mat to hold himself up. Following that, Marquez landed a massive right, but Pacquiao took it and kept coming. Pacquiao then hurt Marquez again and went for the finish, and the two boxers stood toe to toe - exchanging huge punches with Pacquiao getting the better of the action.
Marquez's face was falling apart in the sixth round. It appeared that he was getting busted up but then a counter hook to Pacquiao's jaw knocked him out cold in the final ten seconds. Pacquiao fell flat on his face, wasn't moving and the fight was waved off.