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Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Marquez HBO face off with Kellerman = Incredibly Lame!

Juan Manuel Marquez Manny PacquiaoBy Chris Williams: If you saw the HBO face hosted by Max Kellerman between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez you had to be disappointed. It was frankly boring beyond belief. Kellerman did a poor job of stirring up the fire between these two. Instead of getting them angry enough to tear into each other with his questions, Kellerman put boxing fans to sleep with his this face off.

Instead of getting 14 minutes of back and forth discussion and perhaps some arguing, we got to see replays of Marquez-Pacquiao I & 2, with Kellerman stopping the video every so often to ask Pacquiao and Marquez why they did certain things. At times, Kellerman used Marquez and Pacquiao as props, asking them to stand up and show footing placements while Kellerman talked incessantly. Just really boring and a waste. The highlight of the face off for me was when Kellerman asked why Pacquiao had decided to hit Marquez after he was knocked down for the third time in their first fight in 2004. Marquez was hanging on the ropes, with his gloves supporting himself on the canvas and totally defenseless.

Pacquiao landed a hard left hand while Marquez was in that position. Pacquiao said “Within in the rules of boxing when your gloves hit the canvas, you can’t punch your opponent. He [Marquez] didn’t hit the canvas and he was on the ropes.” When Kellerman showed Pacquiao that Marquez’s gloves were in fact touching the canvas, as that was how he was holding himself up, Pacquiao didn’t say anything. He just stared.

The rest of the show was basically Kellerman asking what the fighters thought when they were hurt or knocked down. Just pretty much boring stuff.

I can understand why Kellerman did it this. He likely saw it as a problem interviewing two guys where one need an interpreter – Marquez – and the other struggled – Pacquiao – would struggle to find words. But you still think a straight up interview would be better than just watching the old fights. That was a waste of a face off. If I didn’t have to watch this, my hand would have been on the clicker and I would flipped the channels in lightning speed.

For casual boxing fans, this was really bad television. If I was in charge of Kellerman, I would have him throw out this bad format and start from scratch with a more traditional face off. Kellerman needs to bring out more animosity between the fighters instead of all this sentimental old stuff. I’m not just talking about this face off. Kellerman doesn’t bring out the anger enough between guys with his questions. It’s syrupy. I would replace him from future face offs with Larry Merchant. That’s who needs to be in charge of this format.

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