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Boxing Subplots In Marquez-Pacquiao IV--Dynamic Striking Fight Breakdown With Barry Robinson

Boxing Subplots In Marquez-Pacquiao IV--Dynamic Striking Fight Breakdown With Barry Robinson

The fourth meeting of Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao in December of 2012, was billed as the "Fight of the Decade".  It was also unofficially billed as the fight that would decide the World Boxing Organization's "Champion of the Decade."  The fight held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas would draw over 1.5 million pay per views.

pacquiao vs marquez 4

Boxing Subplots Inside and Outside of the Ring 

Marquez and Pacquiao were both eager and ready for this fourth matchup, understanding the role of this fight was not just to find out who was the best in their friendly, yet fierce rivalry, but also to erase some of the doubt left in the fans minds after the first three fights.  Each of the first three meetings had been marred with scoring controversy, leaving doubts in boxing fans' minds worldwide in not only the results of the fight, but also in boxing in general.  Each fighter had a great deal to prove and both wanted to do their best to take the scoring factor out of the fight's results.

Juan Manuel Marquez would ultimately knock out Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round, thus assuring that scoring and any controversy related to the judges would not be a factor in this victory.  To the untrained eye, Marquez was able to capitalize on a momentary lapse in judgement by Pacquiao.  Luckily for all of us, Dynamic Striking has brought in renowned boxing coach and analyst Coach Barry Robinson, founder of A Million Styles Boxing to take a look at this dramatic,moment.

As Coach Barry Robinson is fond of saying, knockouts happen long before the actual knockout.  It's important to hone in on the various "subplots" as Coach Barry calls them, that are going on.  Check out his amazing analysis of the knockdown in the Dynamic Striking video below and we'll break down some key points and plots after.

The Anatomy of the Marquez Knockout with Coach Barry Robinson

So after viewing the analysis by Coach Barry Robinson, it's clear that the notion by the casual observer, that Marquez capitalized on a simple, single mistake by Pacquiao is far from true.  Instead, Marquez had layered a complex series of subplots on top of each other to achieve that perfect opportunity for the knockout.  The "coding" by Marquez had essentially wired Pacquiao to make a certain reaction, given certain conditions, and because of this coding, Marquez was able to close the circuit on the knockout and win the fight.

marquez knocks out pacquiao

The Marquez Subplots According to Coach Barry Robinson

  • The Fundamentals Subplot--Juan Manuel Marquez made great use of fundamentals throughout this fight.  One notable example was his use of small, choppy steps backwards as he would reach out and punch the gloves of Pacquiao when Pacquiao would throw jabs.  He addressed the punch, sending the message that he was aware and also unaffected by the punch, but simultaneously the short, choppy steps backwards got him safely out of the way from a potential Pacquiao punch flurry.
  • The Punching Gloves Subplot--Juan Manuel Marquez does a great job varying his punches, particular to the left side of Pacquiao's body.  Not only did this keep Pacquiao on the defensive, but it created a sense of impending doom on that left side.  By sitting down into heavy body punches to that left side and then landing sporadic jabs to that same side, Marquez was able to create an almost unconscious reaction by Pacquiao where he would drop both hands towards the left and lean his head upright (and unprotected) to the right.  Coach Barry Robinson would highlight this in a few of his "Screenshot Moments" that would be difficult to catch watching the fight live, but the trained eye of Marquez was locked onto that reaction and how it would benefit him later in round 6.
  • The High Hand Wins and Distance Management Subplots--Marquez would utilize the notion of high hands wins any time that Pacquiao would begin to come alive and be offensive.  Knowing from their previous fights that Pacquiao would welcome a brawl where he could land 3-5 punches in quick succession, Marquez would use the high hand wins idea to control the initial punch and minimize the opportunity for Pacquiao to set up a flurry.  Marquez would couple this with distance management to move his body away, either with short, choppy steps as discussed before or simply moving quickly to a safer distance to "live to fight another day" as Coach Robinson is often known to say.

Hopefully, this Dynamic Striking Fight Breakdown with Coach Barry Robinson has helped raise your fight IQ and given you some new subplots to watch for as you spectate combat athletics.  Look for more breakdowns from Coach Barry in the near future and also looking for his instructional Mastering the Pivot coming soon from DynamicStriking.com.