Marquez demolishes Pacquiao with sixth round knockout


Marquez demolishes Pacquiao with sixth round knockout

LAS VEGAS – At long last, Juan Manuel Marquez got the better of Manny Pacquiao, and he did it in ruthless fashion via sixth-round knockout in front of a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

In a brutal welterweight war of attrition, a counter right hand from Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) sent Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), into the canvas face-first and emphatically put an exclamation point on their fourth fight after failing three times to edge the Filipino in the past.  The official time was 2:59.

“We knew he was going to come out aggressive,” Marquez said.  “We knew we had to capitalize on that.  The last three rounds, I thought Pacquiao was coming to knock me out, and I knew I could knock him down.  I landed the perfect punch.”

Pacquiao, 147, had outworked Marquez, 143, in the first two rounds, but the Mexican responded in the third with a massive overhand right that sent Pacquiao careening to the canvas.  Though Pacquiao recovered, Marquez had seemed to gain the momentum.

Of course, the perpetual ebb and flow between the two combatants would continue in the fifth round, as Pacquiao decked Marquez with a straight left hand as they exchanged.  Marquez would rise to his feet, and although Pacquiao would subsequently take a lead in the sixth, the end would come swiftly and viciously.

Moments before the bell, Pacquiao flicked his right jab out and Marquez snuck a straight right hand through the guard that would put the Filipino down for good, as the arena was inundated with jubilant roars and desperate cries depending on the fans’ respective contingents.

Referee Kenny Bayless signaled for the fight to end as it was apparent Pacquiao would be unable to beat the count.  Pacquiao remained on the canvas for about a minute but eventually came to his senses and was healthy enough to do a postfight interview.

“I got hit by a punch I didn’t see,” said Pacquiao, who had no plans to retire.

Judges Adalaide Byrd, Steve Weisfeld, and John Keane all had Pacquiao ahead 47-46 at the time of the stoppage.  Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, reflected on his charge’s first knockout loss since 1999, when the Filipino was a 112-pound flyweight.

“Manny came back and was in charge,” Roach said.  “He just got a little too careless and he was hurting Marquez.”

Heading into the bout, whispers surfaced regarding Pacquiao’s flagging commitment to boxing.  Between his political ambitions as a congressman to arriving in his Hollywood training camp two weeks late, the Filipino’s extracurricular pursuits were magnified considering his last two outings were subpar by his standards.

Many ringside observers scored Pacquiao’s third fight with Marquez in November 2011 in favor of his Mexican foe.  Then six months ago, the “Pac-Man” lost a highly disputed split decision to Timothy Bradley that left the boxing world wondering if Pacquiao’s prime had expired.

Marquez solidified those qualms into stone as he not only defeated his longtime tormentor, he entered himself into the discussion of greatest Mexican fighter ever alongside the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez.  

At Friday’s weigh-in, the 39-year-old unveiled a chiseled physique, crediting his new appearance to strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez.  After a draw and two consecutive decision losses to Pacquiao over the past eight years, the new-look Marquez has rejuvenated his career and opened the door to further pay-per-view possibilities.

Bob Arum of Top Rank, who works with both fighters, has stated that former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios would be in the mix to fight the winner next in the spring of 2013.  However, following a likely Fight of the Year candidate, a fifth encounter between the two rivals might be in the cards.

“Fifth fight?  Why not?” Arum asked aloud.  “Have you seen a more exciting fight in years?”

While Pacquiao expressed his interest in another matchup, Marquez revealed that he would savor the victory with his family before making his next move.


• Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) Michael Farenas (34-3-4, 26 KOs), WBA interim jr. lightweight title: Gamboa, from Guantanamo, Cuba, returned to the ring after a 15-month layoff to post a competitive 12-round unanimous decision over southpaw Michael Farenas of Gubat, Philippines.

With his promoter 50 Cent rapping in the ring as he made his ringwalk, Gamboa, 130, instantly showcased his blinding handspeed in the second round, knocking Farenas down from a left uppercut in the closing seconds of the stanza.  

But Farenas, 130, persisted and pressed forward, clipping the Cuban with several right hooks and left crosses in the ensuing rounds.  While the Filipino would make the bout a competitive contest, Gamboa attacked when necessary, decking Farenas again in the seventh with a straight right hand.

In the ninth round, Gamboa seemed to have finally put Farenas away, but as he rattled off a string of unanswered shots with his foe on the ropes, the Filipino unleashed a counter right hook and straight left that put Gamboa on the seat of his pants.

With his legs now as solid as a bowl of jelly, Gamboa aimed to buy time by hitting Farenas below the belt and holding him excessively.  Although Farenas seemed to be the aggressor and land the more effective shots in the final three stanzas, his late surge was not enough to come back on the cards.

Robert Hoyle (117-109), Richard Houck (118-108) and Glenn Trowbridge (117-108) scored the fight for the right man, but much wider than would be expected.

“He gave me some good rounds,” Gamboa said.  “It’s been a while since I’ve fought and [Farenas] gave me a good fight.”

“I thought it was a close fight, but I’m not down after my performance,” Farenas said.  “I gave it my all and know I can compete at this level.”

• Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KOs) UD12 Mercito Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs), IBF lightweight title: The 5’10’’ Vazquez enjoyed a three-inch reach advantage over Gesta, but instead of exploiting his height, the native of Guadalajara, Mex., won a 12-round unanimous decision with his fleet feet.  Gesta, 134, demonstrated a lack of urgency throughout the bout, and the lack of pressure allowed Vazquez just enough real estate to pivot away from the southpaw’s offensive advances.

Vazquez kept Gesta at bay by circling to his left, pumping his left jab and scoring with the occasional lead right hand.  Although Gesta would slightly pick up the pace toward the conclusion of the title tilt, he fell short of connecting with anything substantial to wobble Vazquez.  The San Diego resident via Mandaue City, Philippines, suffered his first defeat, but at age 25, he has plenty of time to learn from the experience.

Patricia Morse-Jarman (119-109), John McKaie (117-111), and C.J. Ross (118-110) gave the nod to the Mexican incumbent, who successfully defended his belt for the fourth time.

“[Vazquez] was great in there,” said Ricky Mota, Vazquez’s manager.  “Gesta’s strong, but [Vazquez] kept outboxing him round after round.”

“He was very awkward,” Gesta said of Vazquez.  “I couldn’t get my rhythm going.”

The Filipino’s cornerman was in accord.

“We worked the entire camp on cutting the ring off, and we couldn’t do it,” said Gesta’s trainer, Vince Parra.

• Javier Fortuna (20-0, 15 KOs) UD12 Patrick Hyland (27-0, 12 KOs), WBA interim featherweight title: Fortuna, 126, earned his first world title belt with a 12-round unanimous decision of Irishman Patrick Hyland, 126.  Fortuna, a flashy southpaw from La Romana, D.R., came into the bout renowned for his offensive displays of firepower, but was lured into a tactical fight in the early going.  

Hyland, from Dublin, was content to stay on the outside of his 22-year-old foe in hopes he would physically fade as the rounds progressed.  While Hyland had varying amounts of success in the final third of the fight, he was unable to knock out Fortuna.  The Dominican had already won the majority of the first eight rounds with his handspeed in their exchanges, which were few and far between all night.

Gary Merritt (118-110), Duane Ford (116-112), and Dave Moretti (115-113) all saw it for Fortuna.

“I was looking for an easy knockout, but I underestimated Hyland.  It ended up being more difficult than I thought,” Fortuna said.

• Jose Ramirez (1-0, 1 KO) TKO1 Corey Seigwarth (2-2, 1 KO), lightweights: Ramirez, a 2012 Olympian from Avenal, Calif., wasted no time in jumping on Seigwarth, a Denver resident.  The 20-year-old debutant’s early pressure overwhelmed Seigwarth, 136, as a left jab spun him around and was a precursor of what was to follow.

Moments later, a left hook upstairs from Ramirez decked Seigwarth.  Although Seigwarth would rise to his feet, another series of unanswered left hooks and right hands to the head from Ramirez, 137, caused referee Vic Drakulich to call a halt to the bout at 2:05.  

“It was something different fighting as a pro for the first time, but I felt strong,” Ramirez said.  “[Having] the smaller gloves, and being able to hit guys without the headgear was great.  Jose Ramirez is 1-0, and for all the fans especially back at home in Avenal, I want to thank them and hope they continue to support me.”

• Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr. (10-0, 10 KOs) KO2 Jesus Lule (6-5, 1 KO), featherweights: Peñalosa, a southpaw featherweight from Cebu City, Philippines, extended both his knockout and win streaks to 10 with a second-round stoppage of Jesus Lule, 124.

After an uneventful first frame, the Filipino abruptly ended the clash with a left uppercut to the body followed by a looping right that detonated on Lule’s temple, sending him to the canvas for good.  Official time was 1:12.

Peñalosa’s pedigree was evident in the corner, as his father Dodie Sr. and uncle Gerry were world champions in their heyday.  Lule, from Fort Myers, Fla., had won five straight before the loss.

“The knockout came so sudden,” said Peñalosa, 123.5.  “I was surprised he didn’t get up, but I hit him with a very good shot.  I want to thank my father for training me well, and my promoter is Manny Pacquiao, so it’s up to him to see what’s next.”

• Ernie Sanchez (14-3, 5 KOs) UD8 Coy Evans (10-2-1, 2 KOs), junior lightweights:  In an exciting junior lightweight slugfest, Sanchez, from Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos, Philippines, outworked Philadelphia’s Evans over eight rounds.  Evans, 126.5, buckled Sanchez, 127, late in the second with a right cross, but was unable to put him down.  The momentum shifted in the third, as a series of left hooks to the head and body punctuated by a screaming right cross from Sanchez floored Evans, who would recover but was faced with fighting from behind the rest of the way.  

Lisa Giampa and Jerry Roth had the bout 78-73 for Sanchez, while Tim Cheatham scored it 77-74 for the Filipino.

“He hurt me in the second, but it was a good thing I trained my hardest in camp, because I was able to take it,” Sanchez said through his coach Nonoy Neri, who interpreted his fighter’s words from the Bisaya language.  “In the third, when I knocked him down, I stayed careful not to get reckless and continued to fight my fight.”

• Alexis Hernandez (3-1, 1 KO) TKO1 Jazzma Hogue (2-4-1), junior featherweights: Hernandez, 121, swiftly concluded Hogue’s night with two knockdowns.  The first came courtesy of a Hernandez left hook, and when Hogue, 121, rose to his feet, he stood on shaky ground.  Hernandez, from Las Vegas, smelled blood and started to wind up with his shots; another powerful right hand and left hook soon had Hogue, a native of Farmington, N.M., doubling over once more.  Referee Jay Nady waved the bout off at 2:20.

CSN Bay Area Boxing Insider Ryan Maquiñana is a voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and panelist for Ring Magazine’s Ratings Board.  E-mail him at, check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Curry: 'There's nothing that's going to derail' 2016-17 Warriors

Curry: 'There's nothing that's going to derail' 2016-17 Warriors

Here in the age of ubiquitous social media and rampant hyper-scrutiny, following a summer during which they tilted the balance of power in the NBA, the Warriors embark on a season in which they may be the most inspected and analyzed team in American sports history.

Their ability to handle this overload of attention will determine whether the next eight months are good, great or magical – or a colossal disappointment.

Regardless of talent level – the Warriors four All-Stars – it is incredibly difficult to consistently crush opponents while also navigating potential distractions, managing the inevitable discord and deflecting the harsh radiance of what surely will be ceaseless public glare.

“The only thing that matters is what happens in the gym every day,” coach Steve Kerr says. “And that’s our job as a coaching staff, to address dynamics as they arise, whether it’s on the floor or off. And I’m sure there are going to be lots of off-the-floor dynamics that we’ll have to get through this year.”

The sideshows are well under way. There is Kevin Durant’s much-debated decision to leave Oklahoma City and sign with the Warriors. There is the back-and-forth over how this will affect Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. There is the curiosity about Draymond Green, partly regarding his role but mostly regarding whether he can keep his white-hot emotions from overriding his considerable intellect, a subject well-chronicled as the preseason came to a close.

“You could nitpick all you want,” Curry says. “You could chime in here and there. But at the end of the day, we’re all competitive. We’re all our own person. We’re all in this thing together. It’s a ‘You take shots at Draymond, you take shots at the whole team kind’ of mentality.”

There it is, Curry indicating the Warriors are ready and willing to circle up, close ranks, link arms and spend 82 games unleashing their abundance of firepower upon the rest of the NBA.

The Warriors are a team always seeking a reason to turn up their ferocity, scanning the globe for slights and insults and anything else that will lead them to believe that you don’t believe. They will have plenty of ammunition.

They’re coming off a devastating loss in the NBA Finals, where they became the first team to take a 3-1 series lead and not finish the season with a championship. They engineered the biggest acquisition of the summer, signing megastar forward Durant. They’re reading that their incumbent Green is on a path that could destroy everything they’ve built.

And, for the heck of it, they’re being told they no longer have a rim protector.

Here’s what the Warriors hear: Their 2015 title was a fluke, they’re trying to game the system to create a super team, their good chemistry is a hoax, they’ll be giving out free tickets to easy buckets. And, more important, that some folks may be out to get them by prodding them to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or otherwise wreck what they believe is a championship roster supported by an enthusiastically ambitious culture that begins with CEO Joe Lacob

It was Lacob’s comment last season about the Warriors being “light years ahead” of NBA competitors that after the Finals loss became a whispered phrase of derision, a soft jab at the CEO’s propensity for glorifying his product. But that line has company. There is the Draymond Factor, the KD Decision and the fact that Andre Iguodala and Curry are in the final year of their contracts.

And there is, above all, the suspicion that the magnification of the Warriors will lead to an insane thirst for information/comment that could nudge any guileless or agenda-pushing member of the organization into deep and treacherous water.

Kerr has on multiple occasions referred to preponderance of attention devoted to the team, adding that the players “have their guards up” when dealing with media. Whether players dilute their comments will depend on that player. All are on alert.

“But at the end of the day, it’s just enjoying yourself and just trying to enjoy the game of basketball, because it can be fun," Kerr said.

If these Warriors have fun while being unified and productive, they can indeed be magical, capable of exceeding 70 wins. They can top 60 even while surviving a few bumps. They can probably win 50 even while slowly unraveling.

There was, after all, only one basketball issue during the preseason that give reason for pause. New starting center Zaza Pachulia is going to have difficult handling big men highly skilled in scoring, such as Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins. That, however, is a small problem given the paucity of such centers in today’s NBA.

Other than that, these Warriors are built to punish defenses, assaulting teams with a barrage of 3-point shots. As long as they can keep their minds on the principles of basketball, as designed by Kerr and his staff, they’ll be playing deep into June.

“We just keep moving forward,” Curry says. “There’s nothing that’s going to derail us. That’s basically the gist of it. So our goal is to not let anything come into that locker room that’s not from us, and we do a pretty good job of that.”

That has been the recent history of this group. But history has never put an NBA team through what the Warriors are about to face.

Raiders snap count: Riley over James; Murray a feature back

Raiders snap count: Riley over James; Murray a feature back

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Malcolm Smith was fully recovered from a quadriceps strain, ready to assume his typically extensive workload at weakside linebacker.

That allowed the Raiders to make a personnel change in the middle. They started relative newcomer Perry Riley at middle linebacker over rookie sixth-round pick Cory James, a young player forced into action due to Ben Heeney’s ineffectiveness and health.

Riley has six seasons and 72 starts to his name, given the Raiders experience at a position expected to make reads and checks and communicate information to teammates before the snap.

Riley fared well in that spot in Sunday’s 33-16 victory over Jacksonville, with a pair of tackles in 100 percent of the defensive snaps. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated Raiders defensive player, with positive marks against the run and pass.

It was uncertain how much Latavius Murray would play in his return from turf toe, but the Raiders did not attach a short leash. Murray played 42 snaps and had 20 touches in this game.

He was the feature back in this one, a new approach after the Raiders used a near-even split with DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. That wasn’t the case this time. Washington got the start but played just 13 snaps and six touches. Richard only had two touches in limited action.

Murray sparked the Raiders run game, with 18 carries for 59 yards and two touchdowns. The work left him no worse for the wear, a positive sign for a team that needs Murray running strong.

Let’s take a look at the entire Raiders snap count:

72 – OL Donald Penn, OL Gabe Jackson, OL Austin Howard, OL Rodney Hudson, QB Derek Carr
71 – OL Kelechi Osemele
68 – WR Amari Cooper
50 – WR Michael Crabtree
49 – TE Clive Walford
47 – WR Seth Roberts
42 – RB Latavius Murray
25 – FB Jamize Olawale
17 – WR Andre Holmes, Mychal Rivera
13 – RB DeAndre Washington
12 – OL Matt McCants
11 – OL Denver Kirkland
5 – WR Johnny Holton
4 – RB Jalen Richard
1 – OL Jon Feliciano

67 – CB Sean Smith, S Reggie Nelson, CB David Amerson, LB Perry Riley
66 – S Karl Joseph
63 – LB Malcolm Smith
60 – DE Khalil Mack
57 – LB Bruce Irvin
52 – CB DJ Hayden
42 – DL Denico Autry
34 – DL Jihad Ward
21 – LB Shilique Calhoun, DL Justin Ellis
20 – DL DL Darius Latham, DL Dan WIlliams
7 -- DL Stacy McGee
4 – S Keith McGill
2 – CB TJ Carrie

29 – Darren Bates, Nate Allen
25 – Andre Holmes, Jamize Olawale
24 – Shilique Calhoun
23 – Johnny Holton, Mychal Rivera
16 – Cory James, Sebastian Janikowski
14 – Antonio Hamilton
13 – Jon Condo, Marquette King
12 – Clive Walford
11 – Jon Feliciano
10 – Jalen Richard
9 – DJ Hayden, Karl Joseph
7 – Matt McCants, Denver Krikland, Gabe Jackson, Kelechi Osemele
6 – RB DeAndre Washington, Donald Penn
4 – TJ Carrie, Dan Williams, Darius Latham, Denico Autry, Bruce Irvin, Khalil Mack
3 – Justin Ellis
1 – Jihad Ward, Amari Cooper, Austin Howard
NOTE: Snap counts taken from official NFL game book