By Jackie Kallen
I have read all the articles that explain why Pacman is more focused than ever, is in great shape, and plans to decisively beat Juan Manuel Marquez this time. I am a big Pacquiao supporter and feel bad that he got robbed in his last fight with Bradley. I was there and believe that he clearly won. I know he is looking to pound the living daylight out of Marquez on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Vegas to silence whatever haters are out there.
At 33 years old, Manny claims to feel like a kid. He feels fresh and ready to do battle. He probably assumes that Marquez is on shaky ground, being 39 years old and with six losses under his belt (two of which were to him). But I think he would be under-estimating his opponent if he thinks this fight will be easier than the past three were. Other than the two close losses to Pacquiao, Marquez hasn’t been beaten in almost 7 years And that was a decision loss. He has never been stopped.
Has Marquez lost speed over the years? Probably. That happens as a fighter ages. He has had over 60 professional fights. That is a lot of wear and tear on a body. But with a 64% KO ratio and a good chin, I can’t see this fight ending early. Like the other three, it will most likely go the distance. Neither man has been able to stop the other.
They have the same reach, are less than a half inch apart in height, and have proven that they are equally matched in most aspects. A lot of boxing fans are betting that Marquez will show his age this weekend and Pacquiao will prevail. Of course that is a possibility.
The age-old issue of when a fighter starts to decline has been discussed ad nauseum forever. It happens to every fighter if he stays in the game too long. The problem is that no one really knows when that pivotal “last good fight” will happen. It’s always downhill after that. Was Marquez’s last win–over Fedchenko in April–his swan song? Or does he still have some gas in his tank?
Most boxing fans, when asked, will predict a Pacman victory. But I am going with Marquez this time. I feel that he deserves a win in this quadrilogy. He has come so close in the past and if the judging is fair and unbiased, he may finally get the nod in a close fight.
Two of their three fights were also at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The other was at the Mandalay Bay. The Nevada officials has always been kind to Pacquiao. Except for the last fight against Bradley. Hard to say what system Duane Ford and CJ Ross were using in coming to the conclusion that Bradley won 115-113. Seems like only Jerry Roth got it right.
But generally speaking, it would seem that Pacquiao usually gets the nod in a close round. I am hoping that that won’t be the case on Saturday night and the judges will score the fight accurately. Adalaide Byrd, Steve Weisfeld and John Keane have been chosen to judge the fight. The outcome, if it’s another close battle, will be in their capable hands.
All of that being said, I will stick with my pick. Though he is a 4-1 under-dog, I am going with Marquez on this one.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen