After his 2004 draw with Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez remained at featherweight for the next three years. After winning four of five fights (he lost to Chris John in 2006), Marquez moved up to junior lightweight and defeated Mexican icon Marco Antonio Barrera to claim a title.
During this same period, Pacquiao also moved up to 130 pounds. He engaged Erik Morales in a classic trilogy, winning two of their three meetings (both by knockout). He also defeated Barrera in a rematch to set up his second meeting with Marquez.
On March 15, 2008, fans would be treated to a second serving in what would become a classic rivalry.
At the end of the second round, Marquez rocked Pacquiao with a left hook. Pacquiao would answer the blow by dropping Marquez with a left of his own in the final 20 seconds of Round 3. This would prove to be the most critical moment of the fight.
In the eighth round, Marquez was at his best, landing 21 of his 46 punches (46 percent), opening a cut around Pacquiao's right eye. Playing defense for the majority of the round, Pacquiao landed just 5 of 25 punches (20 percent).
The final four rounds were basically even, as Pacquiao outlanded Marquez 61-58 in total punches. Marquez held a 47-45 advantage in power shots.
Just as in the first fight, the judges were divided in their scoring. Duane Ford scored the fight 115-112 for Pacquiao, while Jerry Roth had it 115-112 for Marquez. It came down to Tom Miller, who scored the fight 114-113 for Pacquiao. The third-round knockdown gave Pacquiao a 10-8 round, which proved to the deciding point on Miller's scorecard. The winner by split decision: Manny Pacquiao.
After 24 rounds of action, here's how the overall numbers stacked up: Pacquiao was the more active fighter, throwing 200 more punches than Marquez (1,258 to 1,058). On the other hand, Marquez landed more (330-305) and had a higher connect rate (by 7 percent). Despite the numbers, Marquez was 0-1-1 at that point in this rivalry. One thing's for certain: Two fights wouldn't be enough to settle the matter.
Statistical support for this story from Compubox.