Manny Pacquiao beats Juan Manuel Marquez in controversial decision

Manny Pacquiao bested Juan Manuel Marquez in the third chapter of their thrilling and historic boxing trilogy last night — or at least, he did in the judges’ eyes.

Pacquiao struggled throughout the fight with Marquez’s counter-punching and timing, and while he walked away with a contentious majority decision and his welterweight title intact, his recent aura of invincibility was dented and perhaps wiped off by Marquez, who was a moral victor last night if not an official one.

Judging by the unscientific sampling of reactions on Twitter, for many, sports writers and fans alike — especially many of the booing fans in attendance at the MGM Grand — the decision was a robbery, but for some professional pundits who favoured Pacquiao’s punch count, aggression and power, it was a just outcome. Rest assured, it’s a bout that will be combed over and picked at with tweezers for some time to come, and deservedly so. The best of boxing was on display last night, and it was a work of art even if you think the picture was tarnished in the end.

Judges Glenn Trowbridge and Dave Moretti scored it for Pacquiao 116-112 and 115-113 respectively, while Robert Hoyle scored it even with 114-114. The heads at ESPN.com scored the bout a draw at 114-114.

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