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A few thoughts on Pacquiao getting knocked out

by Jordan Capobianco: No one cared. No one thought there would be a knockout, or even a knockdown. No one thought Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao needed to fight a fourth time. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the name that was missing next to Pacquiao’s. And everyone knew it.

Everyone knew a lot of things that were wrong, but not everyone knew whether Manny Pacquiao would get up. At least not for a minute or two.

It had been quite a war for the 5 previous rounds. Both men had been knocked down at least once. Marquez’s face was bloodied. All three judges had Manny Pacquiao winning the fight 47-46.

It was an overhand right in the sixth round that did it. “Caught Pacquiao as clear as he was ever gonna catch him,” said Roy Jones Jr. Pacquiao simply slumped to the canvas. Face down. There were dramatic scenes of Mrs. Pacquiao crying. Manny didn’t even hear the count. Lights out. Game over. Marquez wins. And for a moment, the victory was celebrated half-heartedly because no one knew if Pacquiao was going to get up, and no one wanted to cheer his serious injury. Or death.

It was as dramatic an illustration of a long-denied truth as anyone could ever get: Pacquiao isn’t what he once was. Two fights ago, HBO showed footage of Pacquiao asking Freddy Roach, his trainer, “Did I really win the fight?”; 1 fight ago, Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley. The fight was one in which Pacquiao didn’t look good, despite probably winning and losing a bad decision. And for this fight, HBO showed footage of Manny Pacquiao being knocked unconscious.

The former Pacquiao would never have been touched by that big, looping overhand right from Marquez. The former Pacquiao would be looking for that punch because he would know where Marquez’s power shots were going to come from. He would be fast enough to escape. Fast enough not to be caught coming in at all.

And as for Floyd Mayweather Jr.? No one knows. No one knows if jail has affected Mayweather’s skills, no one knows whether Mayweather will ever fight again, no one knows if Mayweather’s highly reported personal issues will affect his concentration or whether the issues are even real and not just a controversy generator. What we do know is that Pacquiao isn’t in Mayweather’s future anymore, or more accurately, that Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn’t in Pacquiao’s future anymore. We know that a Pacquiao/Mayweather fight is no longer relevant. We know that Pacquiao/Mayweather is no longer the fight of the century.

And we aren’t wrong this time, either.

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