Pacquiao vs. Marquez – The Trilogy
By John F. McKenna (McJack): The fight that many people were clamoring for when Manny Pacquio squared off with “Sugar” Shane Mosley is finally going to take place. Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2-1, 38 KO’s) will be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO’s) on November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. One of the worst kept secrets in boxing was that Top Rank was negotiating with Marquez even before Pacquiao’s May 7 bout with Mosley.
The questions and criticism of Pacquiao, however continues unabated. In some cases the criticism of Pacquiao is coming from the very people who were critical of him for taking on Mosley rather than Marquez. This will be the third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez, the first taking place in May of 2004, which was a draw. In the 2nd fight almost four years later in March 2008, Pacquiao edged Marquez by a split decision. There are many boxing fans who feel that Marquez won both of those encounters. In their first fight Pacquiao weighed 125 lbs while in the 2nd fight he came in at 130 lbs. Pacquiao, in addition to packing on some muscle has added significantly to his technique, working with his legendary trainer Freddie Roach. Earlier in Manny’s career he did not use his right hand effectively. That has all changed with his training and dedication to becoming the best fighter he can be. The punch that Pacquiao knocked out Ricky Hatton with was a right hand. He is a much more explosive fighter since he included the right hand to his repertoire. As good as Marquez is, Pacquiao is not the same fighter he was in their previous matchups.
The beef with Pacquiao now is that there will be a catch weight with Marquez having to come up to 144 lbs for his fight with Pacquial to take place. This of course has Manny’s critics fuming who really don’t like him anyway and criticize him for everything he does. Let’s face it, “Pacman” has added a lot of muscle since he first fought Marquez at 125 lbs and then at 130 pounds. As champion Pacquiao has the advantage of being able to dictate some of the terms for the fight to take place. Critics of Manny point out that when Marquez has moved up in weight in past fights he was slow and did not appear to be as sharp as he is at lighter weights.
HBO commentator Larry Merchant was quoted as saying “I think Manny needs to fight good opponents to show himself at his best.” Merchant went on to say that winning lopsided decisions against opponents who are intimidated like Mosley was, will not interest the casual fan. Merchant added that he thinks Marquez will give Pacquiao a tough fight.
At this point Marquez is the fight that will sell. Boxing promoters exert tremendous influence over who fighters face. Even fighters who have the stature of Manny Pacquiao listen to who promotes their fights, especially when they will reportedly be walking away from the fight with twenty million dollars. Marquez will earn an estimated five million dollars. It is therefore understandable that “Pacman” and Roach listen to Bob Arum.
Again there are critics saying they will pay no attention to this fight. We have heard that before. Once Uncle Bob works his magic and does what he does best, including putting together the promotional tours and all the hype that goes with the promotion of a big fight, fans will undoubtedly come out again in droves to see this fight, or pay to see it on PPV.
Marquez will give it his all and in all probability make a good showing. He will not back pedal after being stung by Pacquiao. Most likely Pacquiao will put forth an impressive performance in an effort to make right what many boxing fans saw as a less than stellar performance against Mosley. Pacquiao should win this fight convincingly, once and for silencing Marquez.