Pacquiao vs Marquez who will be victorious?
By Clive Bernath; Over the last three years Manny Pacquiao has firmly established himself as the world’s No.1 pound for pound boxer. Ironically, it was not until after he squeezed a 12 round split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in their March, 2008 rematch that ‘Pac Man’ first seriously appeared on the radar of the casual boxing fan.
In fact it was June 28, just three months after defeating Marquez for WBC super-featherweight crown, that Pacquiao rose to serious pound for pound status when he moved up in weight to destroy David Diaz in nine rounds to claim the WBC lightweight crown. From there Manny continued to march up the weights and wage war by forcing an eighth round retirement of Oscar, De La Hoya at 147lbs, ferociously knocking out Ricky Hatton in two for the IBO welterweight title before stopping the teak tough Miguel Cotto in the 12th round to win the WBO welterweight title.
Pacquiao displayed devastating fast and accurate punching power in all the aforementioned encounters but his last three title defences against Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito(for the vacant WBC light-middleweight crown) and ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley have all ended in clear 12 round points decision wins.
There is every indication that maybe the world’s most devastating finisher has gone soft over the last 12 months. That may be so and his respected trainer and SecondsOut Trainer of Year Freddie Roach has hinted as much but all that could change when Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight crown against bitter rival Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
After two arguably controversial fights that saw the first ending in a 12 round draw in 2004 and a split decision win for Pacquiao four years later, the pair finally face each other for the third and probably final time.
As previously mentioned, by his own admission, Roach hinted that maybe Pacquiao may have gone soft in his advancing years but because of the way Marquez has continually harped on publicly about how he won both their previous fights Roach believes he has got underneath the normally mild mannered Manny’s skin enough to re-ignite his fighter’s ferocious instincts.
“I believe all fights should end in a knockout,” Roach said on Thursday. “Manny is a compassionate guy and he let the last two guys (Mosley and Margarito) off the hook. I urge him not to be compassionate in fights because one punch can change a fight.”
“Fighters always think they won. Both fights were close fights but the judges did their jobs. Obviously, he (Marquez) thinks he won. But you don’t go to his hometown in the Philippines and campaign against the guy like ‘f*ck you,’”
Roach added: “He’s been a little bit meaner to his sparring partners and his attitude is a little bit more aggressive. He wants this fight badly especially after Marquez wore the ‘Marquez Beat Manny Twice’ t-shirts and went to the Philippines to campaign for another fight. I think Manny is going to pay him back.”
If, as expected Manny does finally defeat Marquez beyond any doubt, the talk will then inevitably turn to the man that competes with him for his pound for pound No.1 ranking-Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“There are two people in the whole world that Manny doesn’t like,” Roach insisted, one is Marquez, the other is Mayweather Jr. “You’re never going to get him to say that but I can tell by his training that he has a little extra firepower in him.”
After his last three fights going the distance, Pacquiao needs to prove his firepower is firmly intact and what better way of proving it than blasting out his Mexican rival. The form guide suggests that ‘Pac Man’ will be too fast strong for his older rival but every boxer has a bogeyman to haunt him and Marquez could be it. Regardless of the outcome while it lasts boxing fans are guaranteed a full on out and war that could just be the ‘Fight of the Year’
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November 10, 2011