It has been seven years since the first fight between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38KO’s) and Juan Manuel Marquez ( 53-5-1, 39KO’s), and three years since the second fight, and now, these two true boxers will meet for the third and final match. This fight will be for the WBO welterweight title. The first fight was a draw, after Marquez was put down on the canvas three times in the first round back in 2004. Marquez supposedly won every round after that. It was a remarkable comeback for Marquez and an unbelievable fight for the boxing world. The rematch was a very close loss to Marquez, who still believes that he won, and he also believes he still won the first fight as well.
Because of this, Marquez made a special trip to the Philippines to personally ask for this third rubber match. The only problem is that in doing so, he insulted the pound for pound king of the ring by wearing a t-shirt that said “I Beat Pacquiao Twice.” Pacquiao took this as a slap in the face, and has since uttered his annoyance of the act. After that, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, put a picture of Marquez wearing that same t-shirt behind Pacquiao’s speed bag as motivation. Not that he needs any. And to the surprise of Freddie Roach, he thought that Pacquiao would have taken it down, but a week before the fight it was still there.
As always, there is some kind of controversy in big fights such as these, but it could have been avoided. Because of the need to bulk up with ten pounds of muscle, Marquez chose the help of a conditioning coach named Angel "Memo" Heredia. The problem with that is that a year ago, a Jamaican track coach was issued a lifetime suspension because his athletes used performance-enhancing drugs obtained from Heredia. With the hundreds, maybe thousands of conditioning coaches in America, why in the world would Marquez choose a guy like this? In a report recommended by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Heredia was described as an admitted drug dealer. He has since cooperated with the federal authorities. Nevertheless, once a cheater, always a cheater.
Because of the extra weight, Marquez’ camp thinks this will be an advantage to their fighter. But according to Freddie Roach, he welcomes it, saying “it will slow down Marquez.” The idea behind the Marquez camp is that the extra muscle will give their fighter the extra punch to really hurt Pacquiao, but they will be sacrificing speed. And speed is what Pacquiao has, in addition to a supposedly better right hand, according to Bob Arum. As you recall two years ago, Marquez had to move up in weight against the ducking Mayweather, and he lost a big one-side decision. As to the Pacquiao right hand theory, there are those who do not believe this because of the way he took out some of the bigger fighters such as DeLaHoya and Margarito. In addition, Marquez will also have to deal with the age factor, because he is six years older than the 32 year old Pacquiao. But, let’s not forget that he is one of the best counter punches in boxing today. So, let’s see how the extra weight will effect his speed.
According to Alex Ariza, the conditioning coach of Pacquiao, he has predicted that the Pacman will knock out Marquez in the first three rounds. A prediction that I agree with, but it probably will be more likely some where before the seventh round. This is when the extra weight put on by Marquez will catch up with him. The outspoken Bob Arum of Top Rank also predicted a win, but added that there will be no cheap shots like in the Mayweather fight!
Pacquiao will be coming into the fight with fourteen wins in a row and Marquez will be coming into this fight after a three fight winning streak, and his lopsided loss to Mayweather. Of the three last fights, Marquez fought a sensational fight against Juan Diaz and got a first round TKO against Michael Katsidis. Pacquiao will be coming off a lopsided win over Shane Mosley and a sensational beating of the much larger Antonio Margarito. Both fighters have agreed to fight at a catchweight of 144 pounds and they both made the weight at the weigh-in. Marquez came in at 142 pounds and Pacquiao was at 143 pounds. That is much different in the first fight, where they both weighed 125 pounds, and in the second fight where they weighed 130 pounds. Again, the added weight should be a disadvantage to Marquez and a comfortable weight for Pacquiao, who said “At 144 pounds it’s going to be different, I have improved my boxing and my power.”
Freddie Roach also added that Marquez “Is bigger, bulked-up and slower, and when Manny puts him down, he isn’t going to be able to get up the way Manny Pacquiao punches.” And I agree.