Juan Manuel Marquez has wanted to fight Manny Pacquaio again ever since March 15th, 2008 when their second, super featherweight clash at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas resulted in a controversial split decision victory for Pacman. Judge Duane Ford scored 115-112 for Pacquiao. Judge Jerry Roth scored it 115-112 for Marquez. Tom Miller scored the fight 114-113 for Pacquiao. A knockdown that Pacman scored in the middle of the fight ended up costing Marquez one point and ultimately the whole fight.
The proud Mexican champion was very upset when he heard the score cards announced. He believed that he won the contest. So did a lot of fans around the world as well as pundits ringside. Marquez demanded an immediate rematch, but that request fell on death ears.
The official winner, Manny Pacquiao never looked back. He moved up to lightweight division and destroyed David Diaz. He then moved to welterweight and demoralized and retired a heavily favorite, Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya. Then after retiring Ricky Hatton with one punch that had fans and media in awe for a long time, Manny Pacquiao took apart and dominated every one available in welterweight division. Not being able to secure the fight every one wants to see with Floyd Mayweather, congressman Manny Pacquaio has ran out of viable opponents.
They say good things come to those who wait. And so, sweet science gods has smiled down on Juan Manuel Marquez, who has been biding his time and patiently waiting for his chance at redemption. Marquez had tried to follow in the footsteps of his more popular nemesis from Philippines; he moved up to lightweight division and stopped a linear champion, Joel Casamayor in a thrilling slugfest. He then went to Houston and after early adversity stopped Baby Bull Diaz, who at the time was considered unstoppable. The only time Marquez moved up to welterweight division, he was outclassed and embarrassed by Floyd Mayweather.
So the question on everyone’s mind:” Is Marquez ready to compete with Pacquaio at welterweight?” Is this a dream come true for Marquez or this dream about to turn into a nightmare? Marquez and Pacquaio are scheduled to face off on November 12th, tentatively at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas at a catch weight of 144 pounds.
I decided to ask a couple of experts if Marquez would be able to compete with Pacquaio at this weight.” Not at that division,” replied Tony Rivera, former trainer of Roberto Duran:”You got to understand, Marquez is a featherweight. He’d be fighting welter by the time they get into the ring. Manny has been fighting welterweights, Marquez hasn’t.”
ESPN color commentator, Teddy Atlas had a different point of view.
“He always gives Pacquiao trouble,” said Atlas when I interviewed him in Chumash Casino:” He has had two fights with him. One was a draw and one was a split decision loss. A lot of people would make an argument that he won both fights. Some guys suit up well with certain guys. They just do well with certain guys and Marquez seems to do really well with Pacquiao.”
To see what Teddy Atlas had to say check Unlike Mosley Marquez will do well with Pacquiao
Both pundits agree that Marquez will give it much better effort than Mosley did earlier this month.” I wish it would have been a better fight,” chuckled Tony Rivera:” I expected Mosley to fight a lot more and he stopped fighting after the third round.”
Entering the ring at the age of thirty eight, collecting a very sizable pay check, would Marquez become hesitant after he feels Pacquiao’s power at welterweight?
“Marquez is going to fight,” replied Rivera:” That might be his mistake. I think Manny is going to stop him in eight rounds, because Marquez is going to be there to be hit. Manny doesn’t have to go looking for him. He is a very, very strong fighter. He is super natural fighter; the best fighter in the world- Manny Pacquiao.” It is a very high praise, especially considering that it came from a man who was in the corner of” Hands of Stone” Roberto Duran, a man no one could touch at lightweight.
So should fans brace themselves for an epic showdown, Marquez Pacquaio lll, or is it going to be another well publicized mismatch?
“It’s going to be a really good fight,” said Rivera:” But I think it’s going to be a one side affair, obviously with Manny winning. What people don’t understand it that the last time they fought, it was like three or four years ago. Manny is way superior fighter than that. He has improved and Marquez has stayed the same.”
What do you think?
Contact Igor Frank at [email protected]