The epic fights between Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez will hit the trilogy with tonight’s championship battle. While boxing fans still have to wait for their main course, this welterweight showdown will surely suffice as a mouth watering appetizer.
The long awaited rematch comes three years after a controversial split-decision which went to the Pac Man. The inaugural dance saw a brutal featherweight championship battle end in a draw. Tonight all doubts will end as to who truly is the king of this lion’s den.
Power: Manny Pacquiao
Fight IQ: Juan Manuel Marquez
Heart and Chin: Manny Pacquiao
Defense: Juan Manuel Marquez
This fight is surely going to be epic and its probably going to be entertaining as hell as long as it lasts. And if you’re into big knockouts don’t blink during this bout, because these two guys love to bring it and they are both coming to fight and to make a statement. Marquez is out to prove that Manny’s previous win over him was a fluke and prove that he is still relevant in the boxing landscape moving forward. Pacman is out to make a big statement by pounding out Marquez and continuing to pressure Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the fight that everyone else wants to see.
The previous two bouts between these two have been great, hotly contested battles. But entering this fight Pacquiao is being pegged as about a 6-to-1 favorite. There are a number of reasons for this, as a great number of things have changed since these two men last met in 2008. In honor of this being the trilogy fight between these two great fighters, I’ll give you three reasons why each should win.
Juan Manuel Marquez:
1) Added Weight and Power: Marquez is a 135-pound fighter who has packed on basically fifteen pounds of pure muscle for this bout. Marquez has always had solid power, but with the added weight its likely he’ll be hitting harder than ever and Pacquiao doesn’t have the world’s greatest defense.
2) Work Rate: In their two previous bouts Marquez was the more active and the more accurate fighter. In both bouts he outlanded Pacquiao and at a better accuracy, however the difference proved to be in power punches and knockdowns.
3) Desperation, Pride, Underdog Status: Marquez is a Mexican fighter, a group who is notoriously proud, even to the point of it being a negative. However, I think its added motivation for this one. Despite the close nature of their last two fights, Marquez finds himself as a decided underdog being written off before the fight even happens. If that’s not motivation to knock someone out, I don’t know what is.
1) Weight: Marquez’s added muscle may prove to be a double-edged sword. Sure he will hit harder, but he will also lose that ever important speed advantage that he held over Pacman in the last two fights. The last time we saw Marquez with added weight, he looked slow and fatigued and got battered by Floyd Mayweather. Manny is no longer built for those smaller weight classes, he is now a natural Welterweight fighter who will be much more comfortable with his weight come fight time.
2) Age: Manny is 6 years younger than Marquez. While not always a factor in the heavier weight classes in the lower weights where speed and reflexes are of paramount importance this could be a death sentence.
3) Development as a Fighter: Simply put, Manny Pacquiao is a much better fighter today than he was three years ago. He has learned to throw better combinations, has improved his jab and his ring control and has improved his style. He’s no longer the brawler that fought Marquez the first time, he has taken his trademark athleticism and turned it into a more polished boxing style.
What this comes down to is that Pacquiao is a better fighter now than ever before. Under the tutelage of Freddie Roach he has become a top boxer, while Marquez is now an aging fighter fading his way out of the sport. If Pacquiao is looking past this fight Marquez could shock the world. But I would be very surprised to not see a focused and determined Pacman in the ring Saturday night.
Manny Pacquiao wins via KO in Round 8
By Lee McGregor & Eric Gargiulo