Four years and three weight classes later, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez met for a third -- and what seemed like final time (at the time) -- at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 12, 2011, in an attempt to finally determine a clear superior.
While their first two bouts had been razor-close (watch them here and here in full, respectively), Pacquiao's size and strength combined with Marquez's advancing age led many fight fans to believe that the Filipino phenom would bring their series to a decisive end inside the distance.
Unfortunately, the resulting majority draw in favor of Pacquiao proved perhaps the most controversial result of them all.
Thankfully, HBO -- the pay-per-view (PPV) home of the upcoming prize fight -- has put all three of their fights on YouTube for free prior to their fourth showdown this upcoming Saturday night (Dec. 8, 2012) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in "Sin City." In this, the third of three "Settling the Score" segments, we will look back at Pacquiao vs. Marquez 3, contested at a 144-pound catchweight in Nov. 2011.
Here we go:
Round One: Manny active with his jab early. Marquez left hook is blocked. Marquez jabs to the body. Solid right by Pacquiao and a one-one-two. Marquez to the body. Solid right by Manny, Marquez rips to the body . Lead left from Manny connects. One-two and a lead straight. Marquez slugs the body to end it. 10-9 Pacquiao.
Round Two: Manny gets a lead left in. Marquez to the body with his own straight. Good one-one-two from Pac-Man. Great straight from Marquez and a jab downstairs. Pacquiao to the body with his left then lands a jab. Marquez body shot and another. Good right. Pac-Man with a one-two and a lead left. Heavy leather in close. Close round, but I think JMM takes it. 19-19.
Round Three: Left uppercut by Marquez connects. Manny still working behind the jab. Lead straight from Pac-Man. Pacquiao to the body with his left. Marquez downstairs, then a right upstairs. Manny left upstairs. Right hand from JMM, Manny with a one-two that falls short. Jab downstairs by JMM. One-one-two from Manny and a stiff jab. Right by JMM. Good counter right from Manny, JMM with a left hook. Pacquiao pulled ahead late, but I think JMM did better early. 29-28 Marquez.
Round Four: Hard one-two from Manny. Lead left. Manny to the body, then a jab. Pacquiao with a right, winging left falls short. JMM to the body with his straight. Right-left high-low by JMM. Manny with a clever little left, answered with a pair of left hooks downstairs. Pacquiao straight and another. A third. Right uppercut. Marquez hits the body once more. Marquez with a right at the bell, probably the best punch of the round. Very close, but I'm leaning towards Manny. 38-38.
Round Five: Marquez with some thudding shots to the body. Double jab by Manny. Slick uppercut after a body jab from JMM. Body jab. Double jab from Manny. Uppercut-straight combination from JMM and a stiff jab. Manny connects with a jab of his own but can't land the rest of the combo. Big right hand for JMM. Manny connects with his straight but eats an uppercut. Another big right for Marquez. Great round for JMM, 48-47 same.
Round Six: Jab exchanging takes up the first minute. Manny's left lands. Marquez with a hard right downstairs and both land their power hands. Hard body shots. Manny lands his left, both connect with power shots. One-two and two right hooks for Pacquiao. Marquez doubles up his straight to good effect and catches Manny with his left hook. Manny with a left to the breadbasket. Marquez digs low to end the round. 58-56 Marquez.
Round Seven: JMM with a straight to the body. Good jab from Pacquiao. Thudding overhand right from Marquez. Jab from Pacquiao and a lead left. Body shot from Marquez and a left hook. Nice counter left from the Mexican, then a right body shot. Manny pops him with a left. Another body shot from Marquez and a stiff right hand. Another overhand. Manny lands a right hook. Manny with a two-one. Marquez lands with an uppercut and left hook to end the round. Another one for JMM, 68-65.
Round Eight: Manny's jab lands after a slow first forty seconds. Marquez with his straight right and body shot. Manny to the body. Clever left uppercut-right straight combination from Marquez. JMM hits the body once more. Manny's left straight connects. Heavy power inside. Marquez sneaks a lead right through the guard. Manny connects with a one-two, but still Marquez's. 78-74 same.
Round Nine: Left hook from Marquez catches the back of the head. Manny with a dart left hand. Marquez goes low and high with a combination. Both men land their power hands. Right hook from Manny. Combination by Marquez. Nice exchange in close, they break even. Marquez with a great body hook-uppercut-straight combo. Manny with another dart left. Marquez tags him with a combo. Manny's left ends the round, but I'm still giving it to JMM. 88-83 Marquez.
Round Ten: Marquez uppercut connects. Big right hand by JMM. Manny with a right hook. Quick exchanges, Marquez gets the best of them. Marquez to the body. Manny jabbing. Grazing Pacquiao left inside, right hook upstairs after a Marquez body blow. Manny left straight is answered by Marquez. Another one in the books for JMM, 98-92.
Round Eleven: The one of a one-two connects for Manny. Lead left, flicker jab. Manny with a straight downstairs and a series of big shots. Marquez with a straight as Pacquiao disengages. Lead right from Marquez and a hard pair of shots. Manny with a left. Stiff jab. Manny with a right, but he eats a right-left. Both land as Manny comes in. Dart left hand from Manny. Hard right from Marquez. JMM did good work later on, but Manny did better early. 107-102 Marquez.
Round Twelve: Manny lands a pair of lefts. Another left. Marquez's right gets through. Another good left from Manny. Right hook from Manny, body shot from Marquez. Good one-two from Manny to end things. 116-112 Marquez.
The official scores are 114-114, 115-113 Pacquiao and 116-112 Pacquiao. There were a few rounds that were questionable, but I do feel this was a Marquez victory. Honestly, the commentary was egregiously biased -- Lederman's claim that Pacquiao had better defense because Marquez was swelling up was absolute garbage, particularly since Pacquiao landed at a lower percentage than Marquez in the round in question.
Hopefully, things will get properly settled on Dec. 8, 2012; however, if history is any indication, Pacquiao and Marquez will duel to another exciting -- albeit curious -- outcome once again.
Remember: MMAmania.com will have plenty more coverage in the build up to Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4, as well as LIVE results on fight night and complete post-fight coverage.