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Marquez: “I’ll destroy Pacquiao”

In perhaps an effort to get Manny Pacquiao into the ring, World Boxing Council super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (48-3, 35 KOs) has reportedly said “he’s really scared and doesn’t want any part of me. He knows I’m the only man who can beat him. I’ll destroy him.” This was based on Marquez’s frustration of having learned that Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KOs) was interested in fighting World Boxing Council lightweight champion David Diaz next rather than taking on the 34 year-old Marquez, who fought Pacquiao to a draw in May 2004. It’s hard to blame Pacquiao, however, for taking the easier fight against Diaz.

For many Americans, they find Diaz an appealing fighter due to his brawling style, even though he’s not considered the best at lightweight by a long shot. An ideal opponent for Pacquiao, naturally, would be Juan Diaz, the brawling Mexican punching machine. But then again, Diaz would perhaps be too much for Pacquiao at this stage in his career, and would very likely beat him. I don’t expect Pacquiao to ever fight the likes of Juan Diaz for those reasons. Marquez, however, will keep pushing for a rematch, hoping that he can eventually force Pacquiao into accepting his challenge. Another problem for Marquez, it seems, is that he is getting older and doesn’t have much time left at the top.

He’s thirty-four, which would indicate that he likely won’t be able to keep at this high level for much longer before showing signs of wear. Pacquiao could essentially wait him out, deciding to put him off until it’s too late. Of course, should Marquez keep winning, he’ll get his rematch, except by then, his chances at winning will be much less than they are today. As it is, the rematch with Pacquiao is already three years too late and for many people, the interest has all but died out. Pacquiao just happens to be in the driver’s seat, able to pick and choose whomever he wants to fight.

As for other possible opponents for Pacquiao, there’s the undefeated knockout artist Edwin Valero (22-0, 22 KOs), and WBO super featherweight champion Joan Guzman, a fighter with a style almost identical to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Guzman, 31, would be another bout that would be a tough battle for Pacquiao, in that he is about as quick as Pacquiao, but has much better defense. For that reason, it’s doubtful that Pacquiao will opt to fight Guzman any time soon. As is the case with Marquez, I expect Pacquiao to wait Guzman out, waiting until he’s older and less dangerous, before he takes him on.

For the time being, I don’t see Marquez, Guzman or Juan Diaz in Pacquiao’s immediate future, if at all. More likely, Pacquiao will choose to fight David Diaz, and then someone like Valero. Though unbeaten and with an impressive knockout percentage of 100%, Valero looks very beatable and would be in over his head against Pacquiao. It would be a good win for the Filipino star with much less danger than if he fought one of the aforementioned fighters.

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