Manny Pacquiao said he was close to finishing off Juan Manuel Marquez when his Mexican rival unleashed that fateful punch that knocked him out cold with just one second left in the sixth round of their welterweight clash.
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Speaking at a press conference upon arriving from Los Angeles, Pacquiao said he felt he was in full control of the bout after knocking down Marquez in the fifth round and breaking his nose.
“I was thinking after the sixth round, I would finish the fight in maybe one or two more rounds,” Pacquiao said in Tagalog, addressing a huge gathering of fans and media at a hotel in Manila with wife Jinkee by his side. “He was already having trouble breathing because his nose was broken.”
The bout was a slam bang affair, with Pacquiao himself going down in the third round from a Marquez right before coming back and flooring Marquez two rounds later with his patented left hook. The Mexican’s nose was already bloodied, but he was still slugging away. Because of this, Pacquiao said he knew that the fight wouldn’t last the distance.
“I knew it wouldn’t last 12 rounds,” he said. “One of us was going to go down. But that’s how it is. I guess it was really his night. Let’s give full credit to Marquez.”
Pacquiao added he was “satisfied” with his performance after watching the fight again. “It was just the last 10 seconds (of the sixth round).”
Pacquiao was unconscious for a few minutes before regaining his senses, and Marquez was seen kneeling in front of his fallen rival to check if he was okay. Once he had cleared his head, Pacquiao said he went to Marquez and simply told him, “Good fight.”
“I’m really touched by those who remembered me,” he said. “Next time, we’ll bounce back.”
Pacquiao also pledged to give P10 million in aid to victims of Typhoon Pablo, which ripped through Mindanao and Visayas last week, leaving over 600 dead.
“If we have a chance, we will visit the victims,” he said. “We will also send help, P10 million for those who were affected. My prayers go out to the families of the victims."
Pacquiao looked calm and composed during the press conference and constantly smiled while answering questions. Wife Jinkee, who was in tears after the shock ending, thanked all those who never wavered in their support for her husband.
“What’s important is that all of you are still here for us,” she said.