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Originally published Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 10:36 PM

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Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Manny Pacquiao | Boxing

Juan Manuel Marquez knocked Manny Pacquiao out cold with a vicious right hand at the end of the sixth round of their bout in Las Vegas.

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LAS VEGAS — Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico knocked Manny Pacquiao out cold with a vicious right hand at the end of the sixth round Saturday night, putting a ferocious end to the fourth fight between the two boxers.

Pacquiao had been down in the third round but knocked Marquez down in the fifth and the two were exchanging heavy blows in the sixth round before Marquez threw a right hand that flattened Pacquiao face down on the canvas at 2:59 of the sixth round.

The referee waved the fight to an end as Marquez (55-6-1) celebrated and the sold-out crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena erupted. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, was down for about two minutes as his wife sobbed uncontrollably before his handlers managed to get him up.

After being helped to his corner, Pacquiao (54-5-2) sat on a stool, blew his nose and stared vacantly ahead as handlers cut his gloves off. It was a stunning end to a furious fight and it might have signaled the end of the 33-year-old Pacquiao's career.

"I threw a perfect punch," Marquez said. "I knew Manny could knock me out at any time."

Marquez, 39, had vowed to finally beat Pacquiao after losing two close fights in 2011 and 2008 and settling for a draw in the first fight in 2004. But after Pacquiao knocked him down in the fifth round and was landing big left hands, it looked as if it would be Pacquiao's night.

The two came out for the sixth round and the pace was just as relentless. Both were landing big punches and both were brawling when suddenly the fight ended. Marquez shot out a right hand that landed flush to the jaw of Pacquiao, who crumpled to the canvas in a heap.

"I felt he was coming to knock me out the last three rounds and I knew he was going to be wide open," Marquez said.

It was the second consecutive loss for Pacquiao, who dropped a decision to Timothy Bradley in June and who had vowed to regain his prominence in the ring.

Pacquiao was aggressive from the opening bell, but paid the price in the third round when he got hit by a Marquez right hand that put him down. Pacquiao got back up and seemingly took control of the fight, landing the bigger punches until he was dropped.

"I got hit by a punch I didn't see," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao, who earned more than $20 million for the fight, was ahead 47-46 on all three scorecards after the fifth round. Ringside stats showed Pacquiao landed 94 of 256 punches, compared with 52 of 246 for Marquez. There was no title at stake in the bout with a 147-pound weight limit.

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