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Marquez will see different Pacquiao this time

Juan Manuel Marquez Manny PacquiaoBy John F. McKenna (McJack): In the lead up to the Trilogy fight last November between eight division champion Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO’s) and WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO’s) it was a foregone conclusion by many boxing fans and pundits alike that Manny would cruise to an easy victory. To say that team Pacquiao underestimated Marquez would be an understatement.

The reasoning by those close to “Pacman” prior to the 3rd Marquez fight was that Manny had grown as a fighter both physically and in talent. “El Dinamita” it was thought, would not be able to compete with the new and improved Pacquiao. Freddie Roach went way out on a limb by saying prior to the fight that Marquez might possibly be knocked out in the first round. Conditioning coach Alex Ariza, took it a step closer by prophesying that even if God himself came down from on high, he would not be able to save Marquez from the fate that was in store for him when he squared off against Pacquiao.

“Pacman” too, despite his public comments at the time, appeared to be in the worst position of all for a fighter. Pacman began to believe his own press clippings telling him how wonderful he was. Those close to Manny were sure that their fighter would easily prevail and continually told him as much. Pacquiao gave no thought as to how his late night partying would impact his performance come fight night. After all, he was Manny Pacquiao!

We all know the controversy that surrounded the decision awarding the fight to Pacquiao. Most boxing fans believe Marquez won the fight and there is no reason to belabor the point. Those who have been around Manny during his training for the 4th fight with “El Dinamita” see a fighter that has not been seen in several years. The hunger is back. The lean physique is also back.

It is extremely difficult to differentiate between the hype and reality for an upcoming fight, particularly when the stakes are so high. It is a safe bet however to assume that the Manny Pacquiao who steps into the ring to do battle on December 8 at the MGM Grand Arena will be a different fighter than the one who took his opponent so lightly last November. That spells trouble for the 39 year old Marquez.

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