In an instant, everything a fight fan lives for was happening – magnificent doesn’t begin to cover it.
A near-capacity crowd at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas was one roar, rocking the building, threatening to shake loose the paint from the walls. Manny Pacquiao, in little more than a minute into the first round had dropped Juan Manuel Marquez with a left that most of the crowd and Marquez didn’t see. Two more times Marquez hit the canvas from the same left – no one could believe their eyes – leaving Mexico’s most finely-schooled fighter shocked, hurt and steamrolled the way Barrera had been the year before. There was so much tension in the air, on the first knockdown; I’d leaped to my feet before I knew it – papers, coffee cups flying in all directions in the press section. Jaded beat reporters as wide-eyed and yelling as loudly as the fans – all thoughts of note taking forgotten. The shouting in my ears was mine. I hollered myself hoarse against a decibel level that threatened to blow out the walls.