Manny Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 Prediction
The eight-year rivalry between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is set to come to a close (hopefully) tomorrow night in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. Both fighters having solid camps, there should be no excuses tomorrow night.Below are several points which will factor heavily into who comes out the victor and puts an end to the rivalry.
Pacquiao Slowing Down Is Not Overstated: Since destroying Miguel Cotto in November 2009, the discussion about Pacquiao has been his string of underwhelming performances. There was always an excuse — the other guy didn’t want to fight (Mosley, Clottey), he was disinterested and/or showed mercy (Magarito, Bradley), and underestimated his opponent (Marquez III). The reality is that Manny Pacquiao has been fighting for 17 years, been through five weight classes and uses a fighting style built on overwhelming opponents with speed and power. To think that he wouldn’t start slowing down at the onset of his 30s would be illogical.
Showing the mark of a great fighter, Pacquiao has still being able to maintain a winning record even as his physical talents decline. But if he’s going to beat Marquez tomorrow night, it will be with his smarts and not sheer aggression.
Marquez Is Now Full-Fledged Welterweight: This isn’t the Juan Manuel Marquez that fought Floyd Mayweather in 2009. Starting with the rubbermatch last year to his recent training footage, Marquez has completely adjusted to the extra weight without sacrificing strength, stamina or power. As quiet as it’s kept, Pacquiao landed a good amount of shots on Marquez. However, the extra weight gave Marquez more durability to prevent the knockdowns we saw in the previous fights.
Who Gets the Close Rounds: Like most celebrated rivalries, these two are evenly matched, meaning we can expect several more close rounds. Who will the judges side with this time? Historically, it’s been Pacquiao’s aggression and punch volume over Marquez’s accurate counter-punching. It may be different this time. From what I’ve seen in Las Vegas this week, the crowd will be majority-Latino which can influence the judges. And if we go by the result of Pacquiao-Bradley, the Vegas judges are going out of their way not to give Pacquiao the benefit of the doubt in close rounds. That can only benefit Marquez.
Prediction: Juan Manuel Marquez by Decision. The combination of Pacquiao’s decline and Marquez’s style, coupled with the fact Manny has gotten all the close decisions previously, makes Juan a good bet to finally get his long-awaited victory. Like Freddie Roach has been saying since this fight was announced, Pacquiao needs a knockout and I haven’t seen anything to suggest he’s refined his style enough to get one.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 takes place Saturday (December 8) on HBO pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET.