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Boxing | International

Another rematch a possibility



A fifth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is not out of the question.

After losing their first three encounters, Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Asked if he would like to fight Marquez for a fifth time, Pacquiao replied: "Yes, why not? It's a good fight.

"He's not an easy opponent," Pacquiao said. "I did my best. I know I got him in the last couple of rounds but I started to be over-confident and I got hit by a solid punch. I did not expect that punch."

Pacquiao was taken to a Las Vegas hospital as a precaution after being knocked down twice.

Before leaving the arena, Pacquiao suggested he would be keen to take on Marquez for a fifth time but his trainer Freddie Roach was uncertain.

"Possible retirement … possible re-match," Roach said. "I would love to get a re-match but is that the best move? I'm not sure which way we're going to go right now.

"It really depends on how he feels and what he wants to do. I'll definitely tell him to retire if he's not able to do it in the gym, but we have to see."

Asked to assess what had happened to Pacquiao, who had been leading 47-46 on all three scorecards when the knockout came, Roach replied: "I thought Manny was having a good fight.

"He ran into a good one. I thought we almost had him. Manny got a little careless and then he ran into that punch. He fought a very smart opponent. It sucks. I hate to lose,” Roach said.

“We knew it was going to be a very difficult fight but we knew it was possible to win," a beaming Marquez said after improving his record to 55-6-1 with 40 knockouts.

Pacquiao, who had been knocked down in the third round, sent Marquez to the floor in the fifth and looked to be getting the better of the fight until the stunning knockout.

TYSON IN THE CROWD

Watched by a sell-out crowd of 16 000 that included former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and basketball great Magic Johnson, the two fighters made an energetic start with Pacquiao establishing a slight advantage through his lightning left jabs.

The Filipino caught the Mexican on the chin with a crunching left in the second round and dominated early in the third with his nimble footwork before he was stunningly sent to the canvas by a Marquez right hook.

It was the first time Pacquiao had been knocked down by Marquez in 39 rounds between the two.

The Filipino responded with a flurry of combinations in the fourth round, then dropped Marquez with a straight left in the fifth.

The Mexican ended that round with a bloodied nose after being pinned against the ropes.

Pacquiao continued to dictate the pace, repeatedly forcing the Mexican to back-peddle before the Filipino was stunningly knocked out late in the sixth round by a rasping right.



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