Pacquiao vs. Marquez II: For All The Marbles

By Adam Cullen: After four years of waiting, we finally get to see WBC super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (48-3, 35 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KOs) go at in a rematch, which will be taking place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their first bout, fought on May 8th, 2004, was incredibly exiting with Marquez being knocked down three times in the first round alone. However, after the knockdowns, Marquez seemed to solve Pacquiao’s style and beat him in most of the remaining rounds to eventually earn a draw. Many, however, felt that Marquez received a poor decision, in that he had controlled the fight from the 2nd round on until the 12th..

Marquez had a chance for an immediate rematch, but turned it down due to the money not being to his liking. Marquez, though, perhaps wishes he had taken the lesser money, for at least he would have been able to continue building his name off an immediate rematch with Pacquiao, and who knows? It may have led to a trilogy similar to the one between Marquez’s brother Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez.

Instead, Juan Manuel had to settle for bouts against fighters such as Orlando Salido, Victor Polo, Chris John, Terdsak Jandaeng, Jimrex Jaca, Marco Antonio Barrera and Rocky Juarez. Other than Barrera, most of the other bouts have been less than exciting. Marquez lost to Chris John by decision in March 2006, a bout fought in Indonesia, but based on accounts of the fight, Marquez was on the receiving end of what is called a ‘home town decision.’ Many people who saw the fight felt that Marquez was the clear winner, but he wasn’t going to get the decision on that night no matter what he did.

At 34, Marquez is getting up there in age, yet he still looks almost as good as he did four years ago when he last faced Pacquiao. One of his advantages that he has going for him is that he hasn’t been in a lot of tough bouts since that time. He hasn’t been forced to dig deep to beat most of his opponents, in that he’s been so much better than most of them. On the flip side, however, is that because of most of his less than marquee named opponents, he’s been without a huge mega-bout in all this time – the type that mean big days for him. His fight against Barrera was the closest thing to that, but by the time that he fought Barrera – in March 2007 – Marco wasn’t the same fighter, having been beaten by both Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao in recent years.

As for Pacquiao, he’s been fortunate to have Erik Morales, with whom he’s had three popular bouts, losing one and winning the other two. Though only the first bout was particularly exciting, with Morales still at the top of his game beating Pacquiao by 12-round decision. In the two rematches, Morales had weight problems and game into both bouts badly weakened from stripping of weight, making the fights easy victories for Pacquiao.

Other than that, Pacquiao has taken on mostly soft opponents, though he did face Marco Antonio Barrera and beat him by decision in his last fight in October 2007. However, the fight seemed to be mostly done for monetary purposes because there was never any doubt that Pacquiao would win, for he’d already stopped Barrera in 10 rounds in October 2003, and there wasn’t much of a need for a rematch because of their first fight being so one-sided.

I see the fight going much like the first bout, except that I don't think Marquez will make the mistake of letting Pacquiao bum rush him in the first round like last time out. Marquez really is a much better overall fighter than Pacquiao, with the ability to both counter punch and attack aggressively when the need calls for it. Marquez quickly figured out Pacquiao's style in their first bout and dominated him after the first round. I see the same thing happening this time with Marquez winning by a solid 12-round decision. Pacquiao will have his moments, however, but in the end he won't have the boxing skills to keep up with Marquez, who will nail him repeatedly as Pacquiao comes charging inside.

Article posted on 12.03.2008

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