By Don Donatello
There has been a clamor by pro Juan Manuel Marquez fans claiming that punch stats shouldn’t be the main decider of a fight. They are absolutely correct. There are three things that will override significance of the punch stat numbers.
The biggest and obvious one of course is a knockout. It is self explanatory. The significance of one thousand punches will be totally wipe out by a knock out. It is as simple as that.
The second is a knockdown. One knockdown in a round gives the scoring fighter a big edge in that round. It does not however automatically warrant a 10-8 round. If a fighter was totally and utterly dominating a round, but then he gets knocked down, his opponent will win the round by a score of 10-9. But a competitive and close round with a knockdown will automatically be scored a 10-8 round.
A knockdown given a 10-8 score is basically winning two rounds. That is why a knockdown have such a gravity in the final outcome of fight. After the first knockdown, each subsequent knockdown is an additional point.
In the first Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, there were three knockdowns scored by Pacquiao in the first round. That placed Marquez behind by four rounds after the first round, a 10-6 round win for Pacquiao. In the second Marquez/Pacquiao fight, a knockdown was scored by Pacquiao in the third round. After that knockdown, in the final seconds of that round, Manny Pacquiao landed a 1-2 punch combo to Marquez’s head that wobbled and hurt Marquez that almost sent him to the canvas a second time.
Third round of Marquez/Pacquiao II
And the third factor that invalidates the punch stats in a round is the effectiveness and damage done by a punch. If a fighter landed more punches than his opponent, he can lose that round if he is wobbled and hurt badly by one punch. It depends on the amount of punches and to the extent how visibly that a fighter got hurt. So that one punch can invalidate the significance of the total punches scored. The video below is an example of the kind of punch that can win a round for a fighter even if he landed less punches than his opponent. It is in the 10th round of the second Marquez/Pacquiao fight.
Juan Manuel Marquez out landed Manny Pacquiao 172-157 in their second fight. That advantage was invalidated by the knockdown in the third round and the big punch in the 10th round scored by Pacquiao.
10th round of Marquez/Pacquiao II
In their first fight, Pacquiao scored a 10-6 round in the first round by knocking Marquez down three times. According to punch stats, Marquez out landed Pacquiao 158-148 in their first fight. That is an average 0.8 punch per round. How significant is that compared to Pacquiao out landing Marquez by 38 punches in their third fight, an average of 3.2 punches per round. There were no knockdowns or any of the combatants coming close to being wobbled badly and in danger of going down in the third fight.
Aside from knockdowns, knockouts, and a fighter being wobbled and visibly hurt, punch stats should be the decider of a fight.
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