By Jasdeep Phull: So it seems the long awaited third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez is all but official and set for November 12th at the MGM Grand. The last two fights have been epic wars in which no man has clearly won and divided fans but cemented their reputations as two legends of the modern era.
However the confirmation of the fight is welcoming news especially after the Mosley debacle where we watched round upon round of touching gloves and only after Mosley was credited with a knockdown that never was did we see the aggressive Pacquiao come out where as Mosley never really turned up.
The third fight however differs to the last two in that it will invariably be fought at a higher weight where Pacquiao has been dominant and left opponents looking like something out of a horror movie. See the faces of Margarito and Cotto for testimony. However Marquez’s only foray in to welterweight saw him loose a lopsided decision to Mayweather who at times looked like he was toying with El Dynamita.
Marquez however as already confirmed in a telephone conversation with ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo that he intends to fight saying “I am going to fight toe to toe and give the people what they want” which could make for another great night for fight fans and but can Marquez actually win by fighting this way? Ever since Pacquiao moved up to 2008 and retired De La Hoya he has looked like a more complete fighter than the one that was beaten by Morales, retaining the intense speed and power that he displayed at the lower weights but looking more defensively sound as well as improving the use of his right hand which has moved him to the top of the pound for pound rankings.
Marquez too has been no slouch in recent years effectively dominating the lightweight division and winning the Ring Magazine Lightweight title. Katsidis, Diaz and Casamayor have all been JMM victims in the past three years in which he has displayed his much vaunted boxing iq but also with a predatory instinct to finish fights in devastating fashion as the three mentioned fights show. However as good as the fighters Marquez has fought in his lightweight reign they aren’t in the same league as Pacquiao. More worryingly In the first fight against Diaz, Marquez did show some flaws and was troubled by Diaz’s volume of punches in the first half of the fight, Katsidis also managed to get to Marquez and knocked him down, although as we saw both men were eventually brutally stopped.
Marquez is a very different fighter to Pacquiao’s previous opponents who have sought to pressure and bully Pacquiao with their perceived weight advantage and instead entered the lions den. However Marquez in his past two fights against Pacquiao has deployed an intelligent game plan by using distance and timing to counter frequently but with a willingness to mix it up when needed as ‘The Pacman’ is not a fighter who is easily halted. In the third fight Marquez will have to fight in a similar way, in the Margarito fight we saw that Pacquiao is still susceptible to the right hand and if there is any fighter who can take advantage of this Marquez certainly can.
This is a winnable fight for Marquez although he is very much the underdog; however I would expect Marquez to pose Pacquiao problems with timing as he has done before. But Marquez is not particularly elusive himself and fight will develop in to a war especially considering the rivalry between the two. However this time Pacquiao’s power at the higher weight will quite possibly prove too much for Marquez and I would not be surprised with a late stoppage for Pacquiao. Whatever the result we can be sure that Marquez will not turn up to the fight for the sake of the purse.