MANILA, Philippines – The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) has deemed the fourth encounter between great rivals Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao of the Philippines and Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico as the best fight of 2012.
In its year-end awards, the BWAA recognized the six-round battle between Pacquiao and Marquez as the "Fight of the Year."
"Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have boxed four times. In December 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Marquez was behind on points and scored a sensational one-punch knockout in the sixth round," the BWAA said in a statement posted on Boxing Scene.
"It was a breath-taking encounter that propelled the battle ahead of other worthy candidates for the BWAA's Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier 'Fight of the Year' prize," the group said.
With each fighter already tasting the canvas once in the fight, the momentum shifted in Pacquiao’s favor in the sixth round as the Filipino fighter settled into an offensive rhythm.
But the "Pacman" made a crucial mistake late in the round as he stepped into a vicious counter-right hand punch by Marquez, which knocked the Filipino out cold with just one second to go in the sixth round.
It was the first time that a bout between Pacquiao and Marquez reached a decisive conclusion. Their previous three fights all ended in controversial decisions.
It was the first time that Pacquiao has been part of a Fight of the Year. Marquez previously won the award for his ninth-round technical knockout over Juan Diaz in 2009.