by Eric Raskin
Seven points. That’s what separates Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez through three fights. Seven points. Nine different judges scoring on the 10-point must system for a total of 36 rounds have given Pacquiao 1,024 points and Marquez 1,017. That means the average scorecard for any given bout of this rivalry has read 113.77-113 in Pacquiao’s favor.
And most observers would tell you it’s actually been closer than that.
In fact, a lot of observers would tell you that the minuscule difference in the scorecards favors the wrong fighter.
That’s the nature of the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry, at least through three fights: No matter how hard both guys work to establish clear superiority, neither is able to achieve it. Each is the other’s Kryptonite. Pacquiao’s power, explosiveness, and all-around athleticism will always present danger to Marquez. Six times in the 2000s, Marquez has been on the canvas; four of those knockdowns came courtesy of Pacquiao. Meanwhile, Marquez’s ring intellect, counterpunching, and resilience will always leave Pacquiao somewhat handcuffed. After Pacquiao’s second bout with Marquez, for his next seven fights -- against superstars including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and Shane Mosley -- the Filipino legend looked untouchable. Then he fought Marquez again, and Pacquiao reverted back to being human.