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.

MLB becomes whole new ballgame since Cubs last World Series trip


MLB becomes whole new ballgame since Cubs last World Series trip

One way to realize just how long it's been since the Chicago Cubs last reached the World Series is to look at how much the game has changed since then, on and off the field.

The Cubs are making their first appearance since 1945 and chasing their first title since 1908.

Some of the ways the game has changed since the Cubs lost Game 7 to the Detroit Tigers some 71 years ago:

INTEGRATION: Jackie Robinson became the first black player to reach the major leagues in 1947, two years after the Cubs' last World Series appearance. Baseball has turned into a virtual melting pot in the seven decades since. The Cubs' roster includes players from Cuba (reliever Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Jorge Soler), along with Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, as well as the United States.

EXPANSION: There were 16 teams in the majors in 1945, including two in St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, and three in New York. The total is up to 30 now.

GO WEST: There were no major league franchises west of St. Louis in 1945. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants headed to San Francisco in 1958. In 1969, the Seattle Pilots showed up - they went 64-98 in their first year, then became the Milwaukee Brewers.

DIVISIONAL PLAY: There were no divisions in 1945, just eight teams in both the American League and National League. They split into East and West divisions in 1969. Then a Central was created in 1994, with the Cubs shifting from the NL East to the NL Central.

PLAYOFFS PLUS: Extra teams and divisions resulted in expanded playoffs. The League Championship Series began in 1969, the Division Series started in 1995 and a one-game wild-card playoff came in 2012. A longer postseason pushed the World Series deep into October and beyond. If the Cubs and Cleveland go the distance this year, Game 7 would be on Nov. 2.

FREE AGENCY: When Phil Cavarretta and Peanuts Lowrey helped lead the Cubs to the 1945 Series, they were bound to the team until they were traded or released. Curt Flood tested baseball's reserve clause in the early 1970s and took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, helping pave the way for players to move around as free agents. Jon Lester, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist are among the players the Cubs acquired this way.

DESIGNATED HITTER: The designated hitter joined the American League lineup in 1973. The DH debate is still hot, with the leagues playing by different rules. When this year's World Series opens at the AL park, both teams will use the DH; when the Cubs host, the pitchers will hit.

LIGHTS AT WRIGLEY: The Cubs were the last team in the majors to play only day games. That changed when lights were installed at Wrigley Field in 1988. The games there have always been played outdoors on green grass, never under a dome or on artificial turf, trends that became popular starting with the Astrodome in the mid-1960s.

With NLCS loss, Dodgers' World Series drought reaches 28 years

With NLCS loss, Dodgers' World Series drought reaches 28 years

CHICAGO -- Clayton Kershaw's playoff renaissance is over, at least for this year. The Los Angeles Dodgers ace flopped at a big moment - again.

Kershaw's postseason resume took another hit in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series, finishing off the reeling Dodgers. The Chicago Cubs battered the three-time Cy Young Award winner on their way to a 5-0 victory Saturday night, making it 28 years and counting since the Dodgers last won the World Series.

"This day is never fun, the ending of a season," Kershaw said. "You look back and think about the whole season as a whole. It's tough to swallow tonight, obviously, but I'd rather be in this position and fail than not to get to be in this situation at all."

Kershaw could have started Game 5 on three days' rest, but manager Dave Roberts decided to save him for Saturday night at Wrigley Field. Roberts was hoping a couple more days would help Kershaw duplicate his performance from Game 2, when he pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in a 1-0 victory.

The decision worked out quite well - for the Cubs. After winning a pair of shutouts in Games 2 and 3, the Dodgers dropped the next two by a combined score of 18-6. Even the great Kershaw was unable to slow Chicago's momentum, and Roberts' first season as Dodgers manager ended in disappointment.

The left-hander allowed four earned runs and seven hits while dropping to 4-7 with a 4.55 ERA in 18 playoff games.

"I think that the first thing I saw is the Cubs hitters, they had a great game plan tonight," Roberts said. "And there was a couple mistake sliders that they took advantage of. But they were running counts, they used the whole field, and there was traffic all night for Clayton. And he gave it everything he had, but when they did - when he did make a mistake, they made him pay."

Dexter Fowler hit a ground-rule double on Kershaw's third pitch of the night, and the Cubs were off and running. Kris Bryant followed with an RBI single. Then left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Anthony Rizzo's fly ball to the gap in left-center, setting up Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly.

It was the first time Kershaw had given up two runs in the first inning all season. He was limited to 21 starts this year due to a back injury.

"You get out of that first inning and you give up two, you feel like you have a chance maybe," Kershaw said. "They just kept tacking on runs. I gave up some two-out hits and some homers and some two-strike hits - just a lot of things that you can't do in a game like this."

Fowler added a two-out RBI single in the second, rookie Willson Contreras hit a leadoff drive in the fourth and Anthony Rizzo connected in the fifth. Rizzo became the first lefty batter to homer against Kershaw since Daniel Murphy for the New York Mets in Game 4 of their 2015 Division Series.

It was the first time Kershaw had allowed two homers in a game since April 9 at San Francisco. That was it for Roberts, who hit for his star pitcher in the sixth.

"We have asked a lot of Clayton all year long, so, again, it's just more of you got to give those hitters credit," Roberts said.

While Kershaw struggled against the Cubs, the Dodgers were shut down by Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman. Los Angeles managed just two hits and four baserunners, with none of them advancing past first.

Chicago became the first team to face the minimum in a postseason game since Don Larsen's perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series.

"We had a 2-1 lead with two games at home and it didn't go the way we thought it would go," Los Angeles center fielder Joc Pederson said. "We didn't take care of business. We made some mistakes, all of us."

Roberts managed the Dodgers to their fourth straight NL West title after taking over for Don Mattingly. But injuries to Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson and Hyun-Jin Ryu hurt rotation depth.

Kenta Maeda, who won 16 games during his rookie season, struggled in the playoffs, and 20-year-old Julio Urias was knocked out in the fourth inning of his first postseason start in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles went with three starters in the Division Series against Washington and Kershaw pitched three times, including a two-out save in the clinching Game 5. When he stepped up again in his first start in the NLCS, it looked as if he might be on the verge of a postseason breakthrough.

But his turnaround came to a screeching halt on a cool night in the Windy City. He dropped to 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA in five career starts with the Dodgers facing postseason elimination, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"It's only going to make him stronger for the years coming on," Pederson said. "He's had some trouble with his back and overcame it and came and helped us win the division and get past the NLDS. We wouldn't be here without him. He'll be stronger for next year."