by Geoffrey Ciani – When Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) squares off against Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) for a fourth time this Saturday, boxing fans already have a fairly good idea of what to expect. After all, even though Pacquiao officially has two victories and a draw against Marquez, these two have essentially battled to a stalemate after thirty-six rounds of action. If their past three encounters are any indication, there is little reason to believe things will unfold much differently in this fourth installment. The natural order of these clashing styles seemingly demands a fierce and competitive contest, and there is a strong likelihood this will yet again prove true on Saturday.
The big question going into this bout is what, if anything, can either man do differently in order to secure a decisive victory? All of the previous matchups between Pacquiao and Marquez concluded with varying degrees of dissenting voices and perceived controversies, but this comes with the territory of pitting evenly matched combatants against each other, especially when they exhibit a vastly different set of skills and strengths. Is it realistic to believe that either boxer can make a significant adjustment that enables him to finally seize command? It appears unlikely, but the thing about boxing is that anything can happen when two men enter the squared circle. Even though Pacquiao and Marquez have surely each presented the other with his full bag of tricks, many times over by now, it is still possible that a subtle change in tactics can sometimes render amazing results.