By Steve Silverman
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Manny Pacquiao got reckless and Juan Manuel Marquez took advantage.

That’s what great boxers do when they get an opening. They lower the boom in a decisive manner.

Few boxers have ever been more decisive at the key moment than Marquez was last night.

Marquez was in what was rapidly becoming a desperate position in the closing moments of the sixth round. Pacquiao had busted Marquez’s nose and blood was accumulating in the Mexican’s mouth. Marquez had been down in the fifth round and Pacquiao had landed the majority of the damaging punches since that point.

Marquez had knocked down Pacquiao with a powerful overhand right in the third round, but Pacquiao had seemed to overcome the effects of that blow.

Pacquiao was looking to register his own knockout and he was fighting with skill, determination and athleticism.

And a small degree of recklessness.

That small lack of attention to a major detail – Marquez’s sensational power – cost him the way it catches few championship fighters.

In the final seconds, it seemed Pacquiao was not sure as to whether he should let the round finish out or he should go for a crushing blow himself. He waded into a spot where Marquez could deliver his powerful straight right hand.

Pacquiao was in that spot for about a second and a half, which is an eternity in boxing. Marquez brought the hammer down and Pacquiao never saw the punch as it was on its 30-inch journey.

Pacquiao went down and out, face first on the canvas. As soon as he landed, the fight was over. He was knocked cold, unconscious from the power of the punch. He did not get up at the count of 10. It took him about two full minutes before his handlers could get him off the ground and over to his stool in the corner.

The immediate reaction is that Pacquiao should hang up his gloves. However, while he will be 34 shortly, Pacquiao looked good for the majority of six rounds. Despite being knocked down in the third round, he was ahead on all three scorecards heading into the sixth round. That round was his, if you want to take away the final seconds.

Pacquiao did many things properly in the fight. He was the busier fighter and he hit Marquez from a number of different angles throughout the six rounds. He was in shape and he fought with courage. Perhaps too much courage.

He left himself too wide open for a big shot. Marquez saw that Pacquiao was going for the knockout and Dinamita’s greatest strength is the ability to let loose with counterpunches.

Marquez will take your punches and come back with harder punches of his own. Pacquiao seemed to know this in the first three fights of the series; he did not understand it last night.

Pacquiao has many options of what he can do with the rest of his life. He is not in a one-way relationship with boxing.

Pacquiao is a member of Congress in his native Philippines. He also has show business aspirations.

He can still fight, but he does not have to. However, if he truly wants to get in the ring again, he should take advantage of that opportunity.

The Pacquiao-Marquez series has become a classic in boxing. The two men have fought four times, and Pacquiao has a 2-1-1 edge at this point.

All of the fights have been compelling, including Saturday night’s blistering slugfest.

One more fight could be spectacular for a sport that rarely finds itself in the limelight any longer.

How shocked were you to see Pacquiao pounded?  Let us know…

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