Pacquiao vs. Márquez I
Six months after the fight with Barrera, Pacquiao challenged Juan Manuel Márquez, who at the time held both the WBA and IBF Featherweight titles. The fight took place at the MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, on May 8, 2004.
In the first round, Márquez was caught cold, as he was knocked down three times by Pacquiao. However, Márquez showed great heart to recover from the early knockdowns and went on to win the majority of rounds thereafter. This was largely due to Márquez’s counterpunch style, which he managed to effectively utilize against the aggressive style of Pacquiao. At the end of a very close fight, both boxers felt they had done enough to win the fight. The bout has scored a draw, which proved to be a controversial decision. The final scores were 115–110 for Márquez, 115–110 for Pacquiao and 113–113. The judge who scored the bout 113–113 admitted to making an error on the scorecards, having scored the first round as 10–7 in favor of Pacquiao instead of the standard 10–6 for a three-knockdown round. If he had scored the round 10–6 for Pacquiao (as the other two judges did), the result would have been a split decision in favor of Pacquiao. However, ESPN reported that some pundits are also scored the fight in favor of Márquez.
Pacquiao vs. Márquez II
Pacquiao with his trainer Freddie Roach at Pacquiao’s Christmas and birthday bash in Los Angeles
On March 15, 2008, in a rematch against Juan Manuel Márquez, called “Unfinished Business,” Pacquiao won via split decision. The fight was held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. With the victory, Pacquiao won the WBC, lineal and The Ring Super Featherweight titles, making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a four-division world champion, a fighter who won world titles in four different weight divisions. The fight was a close, hard-fought battle, during which both fighters received cuts. Throughout the fight, Márquez landed the most punches at a higher percentage; however, the decisive factor proved to be a third-round knockdown, wherein Márquez was floored by a Pacquiao left hook. At the end of the fight, the judges’ scores were 115–112 for Pacquiao, 115–112 for Márquez and 114–113 for Pacquiao.
In the post-fight news conference, Márquez’s camp called for an immediate rematch. In addition, Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, offered a $6 million guarantee to Pacquiao for a rematch. However, Pacquiao ruled out a third clash with Márquez, saying, “I don’t think so. This business is over.” The reason that Pacquiao did not want a rematch was because he intended to move up to the lightweight division to challenge David Díaz, the reigning WBC Lightweight title holder at that time. Díaz won a majority decision over Ramón Montano that night as an undercard of the “Unfinished Business” fight.
Pacquiao vs. Márquez III
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum stated that the third meeting with Márquez could happen in November 2011, providing Pacquiao defeated his next opponent Shane Mosley on May 7. On May 10, Márquez accepted an offer from Top Rank to fight Pacquiao for his WBO Welterweight title at a catchweight of 144 pounds. On May 18, Márquez signed the deal to fight Pacquiao for the third time on November 12 at Las Vegas.
On November 12, Márquez lost to Pacquiao via majority decision by garnering scores 114–114, 115–113, and 116–112 from scorecards of three judges. Upon the results being announced, the crowd reaction was largely negative with thousands continuing to boo as Pacquiao spoke with Max Kellerman. Tim Smith of New York’s Daily News wrote that Márquez “was robbed of a decision by judges who were either blind or corrupt.”However, ringside punch stats showed Pacquiao landing more strikes, 176 to 138, and landing more power punches, 117 to 100.
Michael Woods of ESPN stated that Márquez was not robbed noting the Compubox stats, all of which favored Pacquiao.
Pacquiao vs. Márquez IV
Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Márquez on December 8, 2012, for the “WBO’s Champion of the Decade” belt. With a second left in the sixth round, Pacquaio was knocked out by Márquez, who countered his jab with a ducking right uppercut punch to the jaw, sending Pacquiao to the canvas for a minute, giving him the win.