and Juan Manuel Marquez
have now fought 24 back-and-forth rounds and they still haven't determined who's the better fighter. On May 8, 2004, they fought to a draw but there were plenty of observers who thought one man or the other deserved the decision. Tonight, in the rematch, the judges favored Pacquiao by a narrow split decision but it was - once again - a seesaw battle that could have been scored either way. Marquez demonstrated tremendous ring generalship but he was knocked down by a perfect left hand in the third round and that gave Pacquiao the extra point he needed on the scorecards. By the final bell, both fighters were bleeding from nasty cuts around their right eyes.
After 12 thrilling rounds, each fighter received a score of 115-112 but judge Tom Miller scored the bout 114-113 for Pacquiao.
Punch stats: Total Punches: Pacquaio - 157 of 619 (25%); Marquez - 172 of 511 (34%). Jabs: Pacquaio - 43 of 314 (14%); Marquez - 42 of 201 (21%). Power Punches: Pacquaio - 114 of 305 (37%); Marquez - 130 of 310 (42%).
March has been a tough month for the Marquez family: Two weeks ago, Marquez’s younger brother, Rafael, lost a split decision to Israel Vazquez in an equally thrilling slugfest.
While a third meeting between Pacquaio and Marquez seems like a natural, it's unlikely to take place anytime soon as Pacquiao is slated to move up in weight to face WBC lightweight champ David Diaz on June 28.