Pacquiao vs Marquez – MyBoxingCoach Score!

by Fran on November 17, 2011

Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez
12th November 2011
WBO Welterweight Title
MGM Grand, Las Vegas

This article is a first for the MyBoxingCoach website and was written following a recent discussion with my mate Scott.   Scott’s a massive Marquez fan and was apparently not alone in thinking that maybe the outcome of the fight was questionable, to put it mildly.  Did Scott and many others have a point?

I decided to spend a little time scoring the Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez fight.  As well as scoring the fight, I’ve tried to point out some of the tactics employed by both guys.  It was quite a technical match and didn’t involve much blood and thunder, so my view is that there’s much to learn from some of the subtleties of each fighter’s approach.  I hope that this is of some use.  You’re more than welcome to weigh in with your own views, I’d love to hear them.

Round 1

From the outset, Marquez and Pacquiao both hold their hands high.  Pacquiao does his usual move to the left and slightly away, as described in the Pacquiao Fight Style Analysis article.  Marquez accommodates this movement by moving to his left, looking to stay outside of Pacquiao’s strike zone.  Both fighters are feinting a lot, a bit of a chess match.  Pacquiao on his toes and looks to execute inch perfect phased attacks (jab, out and in then strike).  Marquez is slipping to his left a lot, an orthodox inside slip, but slipping outside the southpaw’s jab.  This is smart and is a tell tale sign of the Marquez strategy.  Can’t pick a winner in this round.

P 10 – M 10

Round 2

Pacquiao has such a tight guard.  He uses simple pivot/half side step to his left.  Marquez is using one-twos, but falling short of the target.  Pacquiao using some unorthodox foot movements to catch Marquez whilst Juan Manuel is more static on the feet, allowing Pacquaio to advance and looking to counter, always looking to counter.  There is so much feinting that the fight has the characteristics of a fencing match.  A very close round but I felt that Manny edged due to his pressing of the fight.

P 10 – M 9

Round 3

Marquez again is happy to back off to his left, away from Pacquaio’s back hand. Pacquiao stays on the front foot with some toe-to-toe at end of round. Marquez begins to find range with more slick mid and short range work. Pacquiao still the aggressor though. Again a very close round with Manny getting my nod based upon him being the aggressor.

P 10 – M 9

Round 4

Pacquiao using the lead hand feint as usual, looking to draw Marquez in.  Marquez becomes more aggressive without being reckless.  We begin to see Juan Manuel leading off with a long range left hook, really useful against a southpaw. Long range left hook leads to the body as well, you don’t see them used often especially not against a fighter of Pacquiao’s calibre.  Marquez landed a nice big back hand at the close of the round.  The round is so, so close but again Pac got it for me by virtue of pushing the fight.  In an American ring, if you are going to stand off and let the opponent attack then you must land significantly more shots than the other guy.  Juan Manuel has not achieved this in the first 4 rounds.

P 10 – M 9

Round 5

The Marquez tactics really come to the fore in this round.  Marquez feints to the left using the inside slip.  Lovely long range left uppercut and back hand…twice!  The lead hand work of Juan Manuel in this round is flawless.  Slipping beautifully using left hook and back hand perfectly against the southpaw.  Very good round for Marquez in which he exposed the vulnerability of the southpaw.  The first round where there was a clear winner.

P 9 – M 10

Round 6

After 30 seconds there is no meaningful work from either of the combatants.  Manny edges forward, Juan Manuel edges back.  Pacquiao becoming more direct by attacking along straight line but in doing so walks into a big back hand. Pacquiao becoming a more conventional southpaw, straight line attack or to his right. This is an interesting point in the fight. Round 5 didn’t go well for Manny, his moving left approach and Marquez dominating with some great lead hand work.  Manny changes his foot placement to get his lead foot outside of Marquez’s.  This could have been a conscious response to the Marquez approach of focusing on his lead hand work.  Whether conscious or not, Manny again edges this round for me…just.

P 10 – M 9

Round 7

Marquez again feinting to his left, dropping the height of his head into Pacquaio’s weakest zone.  This is a key tactic for him and he uses it plenty and to great effect.  Manny falls short as Marquez steps off.  Again great success from the lead hand of Marquez, landing a big left hook lead.  Pacquaio pressures towards end of round but a final big right hand from Marquez marks him out as a clear winner.

P 9 – M 10

Round 8

Marquez again leads with a left hook to the body, if that doesnt show supreme confidence then I don’t know what does. Pacquiao is feinting well, but a lovely lead hand uppercut from Marquez splits Manny’s tight guard; a real text book shot from the great Mexican. Pacquiao’s footwork remains sharp and decisive. Pacquiao lands a solid back hand towards the end of the round, but the Marquez lead hand work coupled with some brilliantly timed right hands gives him the edge in this close round.

P 9 – M 10

Round 9

Marquez stands off, looking to pick his shots. He lands a beautiful double left hook (body/head).  He feints, moves in to his left and launches 2 and 3 shot attacks. Brilliantly simple tactics. Pacquiao’s attack is intense, but slightly wild, leading him to miss with a lot of shots. Marquez seems to be the more accurate puncher as the rounds progress and it’s this accuracy that sets him apart in this session.

P 9 – M 10

Round 10

After dropping the previous 3 rounds (in my opinion), Pacquiao’s guard is high and he’s pressing the attack.  Some quite intense action, all initiated by Manny and his intensity is the telling factor in this round.  His feinting is another class, generating fast double attacks. Pacquaio is in the zone!

P 10 – M 9

Round 11

Marquez has stopped slipping and feinting to his left.  Instead he bends to his right.  This is a passive defense and gives him virtually no opportunity to deliver his own shots.  This is likely to be a sign of tiredness, but this is unsurprising as his concentration for the previous 10 rounds has had to be 100%.  This said, he is by and large fighting well on the back foot.  Beautiful short work from Marquez but Manny is so intense.  Pacquiao edges the round.

P 10 – M 9

Round 12

More feinting and certainly no cliffhanger. Neither fighter is in a particularly reckless mood which might suggest that both feel that they have done enough to win which for me is weird because as I write this I have not yet totalled the scores, but it feels like a very close fight!  As with the first round, I really couldn’t pick a winner here.

P 10 – M 10

Manny Pacquiao – 116
Juan Manuel Marquez – 114

There we have it, Pacquiao by just 2 points.  My over-riding feeling is that Marquez did the quality work (any practicing fighter should study his lead hand work, just brilliant) but maybe just not quite enough of it.  Pacquiao had the intensity and aggression.  When Juan Manuel won his rounds, he won them convincingly.  When Pac won his, he edged them.  These things happen when a 10-point scoring system is in place.  To quote an oft-used phrase “It could have gone either way”.

The big question now is, “How many of you guys give Manny a chance against a certain Mr Mayweather?”

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Waterman November 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

A 17 fight show…..I feel knackered hearing those words, Fran. We’ve got a 9 fight show on 13th December with Nick Okoth as the main event. An open invitation, as always, will be on the door of the Clapham Grand for you.


Fran November 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm

One of these days Dave I’ll show up at one of your specials mate. Should be a good night if a seasoned guy like Okoth is on the bill. Best of British to you mate and I’ll do my best to get to one of your shows in the New Year. Cheers pal.


Fran November 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm


I’ve decided to do a single post to respond to what are quite simply some of the best comments I’ve ever had on the site. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of these, and chatting it through with Scott, and the observations are just great, real food for thought. And the pictures being painted are even better, I have visions of Dave sitting in an armchair submerged in a quilt, Scott virtually shadow-boxing the telly and Karl, not shackled by GMT, sat in a restaurant getting inebriated and eating food hotter than the surface of the sun.

I’m a bit of a sentimental type me. I do like the idea of the underdog, I do like the idea of the old-guard reeling out that magic that can only be gained through decades of battle. I fully agree, as do we all I think, that the true quality work on show was from Marquez. He showed perfectly how to deal with a brilliant southpaw, and it had nothing to do with him treading on toes! You were right on that Dave, when we meet an opponent of the opposite stance toe-stamping just happens, intentional or otherwise. I could sit with a young boxer and point out the skills on offer from Marquez and give them so much to learn, inspirational skill levels.

I read a quote from Mayweather last week. He said that Marquez would never get the benefit of the doubt, and it really made me think. In a non-title fight I’m sure that judges giving the benefit of the doubt in a close round based upon aggression, forcing the fight. In a title fight though, and this ties into what Karl was saying, should the champion not get the benefit of the doubt? And if the champ is the aggressor, should this not add to that benefit?

The fact is that this was no vintage Pacquiao performance, but as Andy says, there’s an argument that says that this Pacquiao performance against Marquez was his most convincing of all three encounters. Having not scored the other two, I did have the overall impression from fight 1 that Pacquiao was pretty lucky.

All in all my over-riding memory of this fight will be that when Marquez won a round, he won it without a shadow of a doubt. However, too many of the rounds though were so very close, and I was forced to give a benefit of the doubt. In my case, the benefit of the doubt went to Pacquiao, the champion.

A judge’s lot is not a happy one eh.

Great stuff lads, I think I’ll try and make this a regular thing (your idea Dave, so it’s all your fault 😉 Really happy that your ‘proper boxing fan’ views are being recorded on the site.


Karl November 23, 2011 at 3:45 am

Some interesting comments here.

I watched the fight with our regular group of boxers, most of whom are Pacquiao fans.

So there we were with our glasses full of beer and our plates full of food from a local Philippine restaurant. Everyone going on and on about the great Pac-man, and then there was me, seemingly the only Marquez fan in the whole place. But the cheering started to get a little thin as the rounds went by, soon you heard the occasional exhortation from someone “come on man, put that guy away”. The guys were nervous, just like Pacman was himself after the fight, as he prayed in his corner, awaiting judgement.

I believe Pacquiao won. Mainly because I’m of the school which insists that the challenger must ‘take’ the title and Marquez never did. He definitely laid back in the last round thinking he had won (based on advice from his corner). If the champ thinks he’s won then laying back is somewhat ok, but I don’t think the challenger should ever lay back. I had already given the edge to Manny by that point, but the last round tipped the scales a little more.

All that being said, Marquez did an excellent job and gave us a great fight. He employed a definite counter punching strategy and his stamina was incredible for a man his age and the amount of activity he had to do. Ringside was saying that Manny looked frustrated and I agree, he can’t quite pick the lock of this hearty Mexican warrior.

I wanted Marquez to win. For one, he was the underdog and we all have a soft spot in our hearts for the underdog. Two, he’s old school warrior who seems to embrace that lone wolf mentality of a Hagler. His basic team is small, loyal, tight-knit. I like that attitude, I admire it.

With Manny, there is no doubt that I admire his skills and the fact that he gives back to his community but I have to tell ya – I just can’t get past the whole entourage thing. Surrounding yourself with 50 to 60 people, most of whom aren’t there for anything, rubs me the wrong way. Who are these sycophants? Manny seems to be a bit of a prima donna with his general attitude. Like during the excellent 24/7 series, when Manny moved in with the entourage because he didn’t want to be alone in his mansion. So he’s sitting there strumming a guitar (badly) and singing (badly) while his crew beams admiration at him. Why does he NEED this constant affirmation? To tell you the truth, I see a crack in his mental armor. Once he faces a fighter who can bring him into the deep waters of self doubt I believe he will fall apart rather quickly. The trouble is finding such a fighter!!

Of course, that’s all just my personal opinion. Like I said, I DO admire Manny’s skill and his heart. You guys know who Maria Aragon is? She’s a local Philippine-Canadian kid from my city of Winnipeg who became a bit of a youtube sensation with her version of Lady Gaga’s song Born This Way. Pacuiao picked her to sing the Philippine National Anthem before the fight, which was a classy thing for him to do. So thanks Manny!


Scott Hamilton November 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Hello Fran,

Some good comments there & a good point made by Dave in his last comment…I think Freddie & Manny both believed the title was changing hands…

Thanks for the links, especially Wayne McCullogh’s!;-) As you’ve mentioned before Boxing is all about opinion & I agree with Wayne’s ‘take’ on the fight completely!
Juan Manuel’s EFFECTIVE aggressiveness is what wins him the fight, his excellent counter punching & superior Boxing skills (again, my opinion fella’s!) literally turned Pacquiao into the aggressor but what he was doing was not effective against Marquez.
If this link works, full fight below…My money is on the Mexican!!;-)
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez III – HBO Version


Dave Waterman November 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Additional to my comment above, I think that Freddie Roach’s cornerwork throughout the fight and his and Manny’s body language at the final bell demonstrated a shared belief that it would be Marquez leaving with the WBO strap and not Manny.


Fran November 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Take your word on that Dave, didn’t hear the corner work because I had the sound down. They did look a little sheepish at the end though. The words “It could have gone either way” spring to mind. I used that a few times on Saturday night during our 17-fight home show, I’m still knackered today from it! Long, long night.


Dave Waterman November 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Hi Fran,

I was and still am in the Marquez was robbed camp. Admittedly that decision is based on one 04:00 hrs viewing of the fight and scoring round by round as the action happened live on TV. I thought Marquez scored the cleaner, clearer punches after a careful start in the first two rounds and scored it 115-113 in favour of the Mexican. I gave Pacquiao rounds 11 and 12 quite clearly. It’s interesting to read that Wayne McCulloch had Marquez up in those final sessions.

I’ve seen the Compubox statistics that have been used to support the judges’ decisions. In my opinion Compubox is no more reliable that the Olympic scoring system that has turned much of the amateur game into a single punch fencing and dance contest. Compubox has no buttons to record ringmanship or aggression.

I’ve also seen the arguments that claim Manny was unable to operate effectively due to illegal footwork by the Mexican ( The articles all acknowledge the problem associated with a southpaw v orthodox encounter but surely the Mexican intentionally standing on the Filipino’s front foot would limit Marquez’s ability to move backward and counter punch. Likewise it would leave him in range for Manny to exploit his offensive gifts.

Regardless of the outcome of this third battle Floyd Mayweather must feel emboldened by Marquez’s latest performance. I’ve always argued that there are two men that have the answer to Manny’s come-forward, swarming style and those are Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather. Considering Floyd’s utter domination of Juan Manuel back in 2009 I think that Mayweather will be an undeniable favourite.

There is no doubt that Manny Pacquiao is a modern great and has a claim to the best pound for pound operator at present. But without resorting to unfair adjectives like ‘one dimensional’ I think Manny’s style is suited to those that meet him in the centre of the ring and attempt to beat him at his own game (vas a vis Ricky Hatton). Recent matchmaking has ensured most of Manny’s performances end in spectacular fashion and I think there was a belief that Marquez was over the hill and would be too small for the 144 catchweight.


Paul Smith November 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

Good analysis Fran, but imo the winner of a fight, whether pro or street, is the one who landed the harder blows and /or who caused the most damage. This fight was too close to call and I personally thought Marquez should have been given the victory because he was countering very powerfully, but seeing as many more experienced people than I felt Manny won, I will accept the decision of the judges.
When it comes to Manny against Floyd, well I think Mayweather has the better trainer and has excellent defense. Manny is very aggressive and that could possibly bother Floyd a bit, but at the end of it all, I think Floyd will win – convincingly. I look forward o seeing that fight because I think it will be very educational.


Andy November 21, 2011 at 12:33 am

I read all the “Marquez robbed” articles before I managed to watch the fight, so was surprised when I actually watched it. I’ve got no expertise but arrived at the same 116-114 for Pac score as you but by a different combination of rounds. I thought it was a nightmare to score – to my non-expert eye I really struggled with at least 4 rounds to choose a winner so it could just as easily go the opposite way for me. Glad I’m not a professional judge anyway!

I’m a big fan of both fighters and not really sure how anyone can call the fight with such certainty either way, so surprised by the strength of reactions out there. I guess it comes down to how the judges favour the quality work of JMM against work -rate/aggression of Pac.

How do you rate this performance for Pac Fran? A lot of people are saying it was an off night/evidence of decline. Perhaps, but I think people forget how damn good JMM is and despite the 38 years and step up in divisions was it ever realistic to expect Pac to dominate JMM like a lot of people did? I thought Pac was comprehensively out boxed for many rounds between the first two fights with the knock-downs carrying the day for him – not an insignificant matter I know! A lot closer technically this time so evidence of Pac’s improvement I reckon.

Hope JMM continues for a few fights more!

Pac vs Mayweather : One or two posts have already been written on the interweb about that so I’m not gonna go there!


Ivan November 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm

The outcome of the fight hinged on thorough, itemized scoring just like most very close contests. You could go either way and still be right, it’s up to the fighters to make the difference. The styles of these two almost cancel each other out. The decision (yours too) was politically correct in view of the expected mega fight b/n Mayweather and Pacman next year. A draw would have been a setback, a loss for the congressman – a financial disaster for the major players in the industry including Mayweather and his entourage. It was a relief for me as well to see Pacquiao get the win since I can’t think of a better match-up than Pacman vs. Mayweather.


Fran November 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Agreed Ivan, it is the match the we do all want to see. Reminiscent of Hagler V Leonard as well, with Hagler grinding out the rounds (a la Pac) and Leonard doing the more memorable stuff like Marquez. And yes, Marvin was the winner on my card by a 2-point margin. We’ll see what the new year brings with regards Mayweather vs Pacquiao, only one winner for me though and it ain’t the congressman (nice reference).


Scott Hamilton November 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Great analysis Fran & to be honest, credit has to be given to Manny for forcing the fight & his ‘phasing’ is excellent…pushing in & out off front & back foot respectively with so much speed….BUT, I find myself no matter how many times I watch (I think i’m up to 6!) just being more IMPRESSED by Marquez in everyway so as a Boxing FAN but in no way an EXPERT, I still have to go with The Mexican Legend, Juan Manuel Marquez by two or three rds…(with or without the sound down!!)….Manny aint got a prayer against Floyd Mayweather!!


Fran November 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

You are not alone Scott, a certain Mr Wayne McCullogh has drawn the same conclusion as you ( Just to accentuate the mixed viewpoints, Mark Villanueva (a respected Filipino boxing writer) felt that Pac edged it ( If I could have scored in half-points, for example 10-8.5, then JMM may well have edged it or got a definite draw on my card. This is by virtue of Marquez winning his rounds more clearly than Pac won his. On the Mayweather question, I agree!


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