FINALMichael Buffer announces the judges' scorecards: 114-114 first. Then 115-113 and 116-112 to the winner ... AND STILL ... WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. U2's "Beautiful Day" plays loudly over the PA system but it can't drown out the lusty boos that are coming down over the floor.
You can't hear a word of Pacquiao's in-ring interview with Max Kellerman due to the boos cascading down from the fans who have stuck around the arena. Some fans are even throwing beer. They're even louder than the treatment Floyd Mayweather received after his unsportsmanlike knockout of Victor Ortiz in this same room two months ago -- and those were loud. Feel badly for Marquez since his effort was nothing short of heroic, particularly given the dismal expectations many had for him, but the fight was awfully close. Maybe now he'll wear a shirt saying MARQUEZ BEAT PACQUIAO THREE TIMES!!
That's all for now. Heading to press conferences -- which should be interesting -- and then to write.
Check back on SI.com throughtout the night for full coverage.
Twelfth roundPacquiao lands two lefts, the first punches of consequence in the round. Marquez starting to back up a bit as Manny moves in. Four-punch combo from Marquez, beautifully thrown, none landed cleanly. Marquez's hands looking markedly slower than three rounds ago, the reality of being 38 sinking in. One minute left in this brilliant trilogy that's spanned 36 rounds and seven years. Referee Tony Weeks stops the action as Pacquiao's mouthguard falls out. Crowd jeers. Huge chants for Marquez, who throws four punches but can't do damage. Pacquiao moving forward with a big combo to end the fight. The final bell! And Marquez raises a fist to the fans. Climbs the turnbuckle, raises his gloves to the fans and is carried around the ring. Pacquiao walks confidently back to his corner, but I think we're looking at another draw. Pacquiao 10-9.
Eleventh roundStraight right from Pacquiao but Marquez ties him up before he can do any more damage. Pacquiao to the body for the first time in ages. An enormous left to the chin from Pacquiao seems to bother Marquez, but he's still in there, finish line creeping within view. Marquez loads up on a left but misses. Marquez face starting to look worse for wear but he is still punching. Pacquiao's timing just looks awful tonight, but that's not an accident: credit to Marquez. Lots of folks on press row saying Pacquiao needs a knockout to win this fight, but I think we're looking at a draw if Manny wins the 12th. Pacquiao 10-9
Tenth roundPacquiao just can't seem to find a way inside. Pacquiao lunges inside and Marquez meets him. It seems he's ready to step on the gas, sensing he may need a stoppage. But he needs to get going sooner than later. Good left from Pacquiao. Marquez starting to look like he's tired -- right now. Pacquiao is cut above his right eye (on a head butt), but it seems the tide could be shifting in the Filipino's favor. It's right there for him in the next six minutes. Pacquiao 10-9.
Ninth roundCracking left hook from Marquez, but Pacquiao still looking OK. Then an exquisite left-right-left combo from Marquez really moves Pacquiao back, but he doesn't look hurt. Pacquiao lunges in and connects with two shots, then two more. Tries again and gets tagged badly by Marquez, whose confidence is riding sky high. Unbelievable action near Pacquiao's corner! Textbook left uppercut connects with Pacquiao's chin and he manages nothing in response. The last time Pacquiao was seriously challenged in a fight was when he fought Marquez in 2008. It's happening again. Marquez 10-9.
Eighth roundNice straight right from Manny, but Marquez stays in the pocket. Pacquiao seems to have fallen into a familiar pattern that Marquez is comfortable with. What a chin Pacquiao is showing: he's eaten some very big shots from the Mexican. Manny letting his hands go now but nothing finding Marquez. Pacquiao fans trying to urge their man on and he complies landing a few rights. An off night for Pacquiao but the fight is still within his reach, at five rounds to three with 12 minutes left. Pacquiao 10-9.
Seventh roundMarquez continues to do great damage with the right hand. Pacquiao darts in, evades the counters and lands a punch but it doesn't do much. Pacquiao is doing nothing on the interior. Lead right from Marquez misses but the follow-up doesn't, and he punctuates it with a left. More gigantic right hands from Marquez. We could have an upset in the making: Marquez is up three rounds and showing no signs of slowing down. With five rounds to go, he has Pacquiao's number. Marquez 10-9.
Sixth roundPacquiao looking more apprehensive now, wary of the counters, but lands a great lead right after absorbing a strong body shot from Marquez. Another left-right combo downstairs from Marquez. Pacquiao darts in and absorbs a big left hook along the ropes. Marquez lands a very nice shot in the last 10 seconds and he is clearly in control, fighting the more disciplined fight. Pacquiao did just enough to win a round that could have gone either way, but he is definitely going to need to step on the gas with this pro-Marquez crowd making themselves heard at every opportunity. Pacquiao 10-9.
Fifth roundMore feeling out through first minute as Pacquaio observes his opponent and tries to crack the code. The crowd roars as Marquez lands a left uppercut. More Marquez chants: they know their man is ahead. Marquez leads with a straight left then connects flush with a big right that rocks Pacquiao backward again. Great work from Marquez: he is just dismantling Pacquiao, who is not getting his punches off. Marquez 10-9.
Fourth roundPacquiao leads with a left and lunges in with a right. Just 45 seconds into the round and the fighters are starting to let their hands go a little bit more. Now the pace recedes again but the crowd is starting to buzz with warring chants for both men. A left-handed missile from Pacquiao whizzes safely past Marquez's face. Smart footwork from Pacquiao lured Marquez into a vulnerable position there but Manny didn't make him pay. Good left from Pacquiao but Marquez counters with a right to the body. Huge right from Marquez seems to rock Manny backward during the last 10 seconds. Marquez 10-9.
Third roundPacquiao having trouble getting inside and landing shots. He tries again there and -- another good left uppercut from Marquez! If you're looking for a model of how Floyd Mayweather might beat Pacquiao, you're seeing it now. Left to the body from Marquez. Marquez misses with a left power shot and the crowd behind him cheers loudly despite it not connecting at all. Pacquiao finds Marquez's face with a straight left near the end of the round and follows it up with a strong right hook. Pacquiao might have gotten Marquez after the bell there as the crowd roars. Manny looking better, Marquez starting to look a little more tired. Marquez 10-9.
Second round"Ole, Ole, Ole" chants from the crowd. Pacquiao triples up the right jabs, missing all three, but connects with a follow-up right. Nice one-two to the head from Marquez, but nothing too damaging. Fighters still feeling each other out, mostly in the center of the ring. Two good lefts from Pacquiao. Marquez already looking much better than he did in his lone previous fight at welterweight vs. Floyd Mayweaher in 2009. A nice left uppercut from Marquez! The Mexican is doing a good job of staying away from Pacquiao's power, smartly trying to avoid the type of bloodbath these two waged in 2004 and '08. Marquez 10-9.
First roundThe fighters are feeling each other out in the center of the ring. One minute in and no punch of significance has landed. Pacquiao darts in to attack Marquez's body, but Marquez evades it and misses wildly with a looping right. Pacquiao connects with a nice right hook but Marquez lands a quick one-two to the body before the Filipino can get out of range. Another looping right from Pacquiao just glances Marquez's head and Pacquiao cracks him with a one-two just before the bell rings. A feel-out round for sure, but edge to the champ. Pacquiao 10-9.
Pre-fight• Pacquiao hugs Freddie and the seconds are out. Fight on.
Finally, some resounding Manny chants to match the Marquez ones that have been echoing around the arena since Bradley-Casamayor ended.
• Pacquiao looks very relaxed and at ease, smiling, ready to go.
• A TV monitor near ringside shows Pacquiao taking a very long prayer in his locker room before making his way toward the tunnel. Survivor frontman Jimi Jamison (spotted earlier today in the press room) is shown at the front of the tunnel as the opening bars of "Eye of the Tiger" are played over the PA system at ear-splitting volumes -- a reprise of Pacquiao's ringwalk from his May victory over Shane Mosley. And here comes Manny. It's not the warmest reception he's had in Las Vegas, but enough of his fans are making themselves heard.
• The lighting rig here -- like something resembling the mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kind -- is like nothing we've seen before at a major fight. Red, green and white lights cutting through faint smoke all over the arena. Marquez has made his way to the ring now and the chants are deafening.
• Odds at the MGM Grand sports book closed at -850 for Pacquiao and +600 for Marquez. Those numbers are down from -1000 and +700 earlier today, meaning there was a lot of late action on Marquez.
• Anthem time. Three of them: Philippines, Mexico and United States.
• Rumors that Mike Tyson would ring the memorial 10-count for departed heavyweight champion Joe Frazier proved false, but it made the tribute no less poignant.
• Among the stars in attendance: Magic Johnson, Steve Buscemi, Charles Barkley, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Reggie Miller and ... Star Jones.
• The atmosphere in the MGM Grand Garden Arena is buzzing as the long-awaited third meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is about to get under way. A sold-out audience of more than 16,000 fans is ready to go -- and it's a decidedly pro-Marquez crowd. They've been chanting the challenger's name ever since the co-feature between Timothy Bradley and Joel Casamayor ended.