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Featherweight Giants Battle To A Draw
Juan Angel Zurita (May 10, 2004) 
Photo © Chris Farina
The battle between the two best featherweights in the world didn’t fail to disappoint. Juan Manuel Marquez (42-2-1, 33 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (38-2-2, 29 KOs) locked horns for 12 rounds and gave it all they had before a crowd of 8000+ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada.

The first round was a shocking one as the Filipino, Pacquiao, dropped Marquez three times in the first round. The first two knockdowns surprised the Mexican as he didn’t appear to be seriously hurt. But it was the third knockdown coupled by a blatant blow to the head while he was down, that sent Marquez down to the canvas yet again, and had all of those in attendance wondering if he would rise.

Not only did Marquez rise to finish the round, he made the necessary adjustments, and began a comeback.

In the 2nd round, attempting to capitalize on the success he had in round one, Pacquiao continued to fire left hands, but Marquez kept his distance. Pacquiao continued to land but not as cleanly nor as effectively as in the first stanza. Marquez appeared to use most of the round to clear the cobwebs suffered in the previous round and by the end of the round started to land some bullets of his own.

Bleeding profusely from his nose, over the next eleven rounds, Marquez showed the heart of a warrior, neutralized Pacquiao’s monster left hand, and controlled the pace of the fight. Pacquiao too showed great heart by fighting through some difficult moments when it appeared Marquez was but a few punches away from unleashing some serious hurt.

Going into the 12th round, the fight appeared to be extremely close. Both fighters picked and pecked as the last few minutes waned, both fighting on equal terms.

With the lasting impression of that huge opening round, it appeared that Pacquiao might’ve held off Marquez’s comeback, but not surprisingly, two judges were split as to who won the fight, with the third scoring it a draw.

Scores were 115-110 for Pacquiao, 115-110 for Marquez, and 113-113.

Cotto Passes His Most Difficult Test To Date

In the co-feature of the evening, fast-rising prospect, Miguel Cotto (20-0,16 KOs) graduated to contender status with a solid twelve round decision over game veteran, Lovemore N’Dou (38-7-1, 24 KOs)

Cotto consistently ripped hooks to the head and body, but often times only had success landing to the body as N’Dou held a tight guard to protect himself from cranial incoming

N’Dou, who appeared to be physically stronger, had no problem finding his target throughout the bout, but appeared to lack the firepower to do any real damage to the younger Cotto.

Overall, N’Dou stood his ground launching head and body combinations of his own, but overall was a step behind the more versatile Puerto Rican.

All three judges scored it for Miguel Cotto.

Scores were 117-111, 115-113, 116-112.

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