MANILA, Philippines – World middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez was saddened to see Filipino icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao get knocked out in brutal fashion by his great Mexican rival, Juan Manuel Marquez.
In an interview with Dog House Boxing, Martinez expressed his sadness over Pacquiao’s loss, while at the same time crediting Marquez for his performance.
“First, I’d like to acknowledge that Marquez is a great fighter. He is one of the greatest,” said Martinez. “At the same time, it saddened me to see another fighter out like that, to see a man knocked out.”
“It just saddened me to see Manny laying out like that,” he added.
Pacquiao and Marquez had battled back-and-forth for five rounds, even exchanging knockdowns, when the Mexican connected on a short counter-right hand with just one second to go in the sixth.
Pacquiao walked right into the punch and was knocked out cold. He was motionless on the canvas for a couple of minutes and had to miss the post-fight press conference to go to a hospital.
Martinez, who watched the fight at ringside, does not think even an athlete of Pacquiao’s caliber can fully recover from such a blow.
“It’s a shame what happened, and I don’t believe any fighter can be the same after that type of knockout, because it was so serious,” he said.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of mental preparation for Manny to come back, and be the same Manny,” he added.
“But even so, for him to be the person that he was before the knockout, he’s probably not going to be the same person because of how devastating it was.”
Seeing the former pound-for-pound king laid out on the canvas was also a reality check for Martinez.
“It just brings the realization that it could happen to me one day,” he said. “Anybody can get knocked out.”
Martinez came dangerously close to being stopped in his last fight, when he was badly hurt by Mexico’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the last round of their middleweight clash after dominating the first 11 rounds.
“For those 11 rounds I stuck to my game plan and things got a little dramatic towards the end, but I was able to pick myself up from the ground and finish the fight,” he said.