by Charles Jay
We know a couple of things as we approach the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight, based on what we have seen so far. One of them is that Pacquiao hasn’t carried the power forward as he has moved up into 140s, as least as far as taking guys out. Miguel Cotto was stopped in the final round, but that was after Pacquiao had administered an awful lot of punishment. Certainly he knows how to do that, but his last five foes have last the distance.
We also know that while he has demonstrated he can hurt Marquez, particularly in the first round of that first bout, he hasn’t done enough to put him away. If you can’t get a guy out, and in fact, let him all the way back into the fight, after flooring him three times, then he’s going to have a bear of a time doing it here.
So what would Marquez have to do to win this fight? Well, one could say that he would just have to fight a little bit better in one or two of those rounds than his previous three appearances against Pacquaio, and it wouldn’t be a stretch at all.
But nobody needs to tell you that whatever happens, Marquez’s style does something to keep Pacquiao off-balance. He doesn’t make foolish mistakes, he’s patient, and he’s a rugged guy with a good chin who has done a pretty good job on defense. He certainly hasn’t done it by being a speed demon, and even though he had no speed to match Floyd Mayweather, he matches up very well with this opponent. Does that reflect badly on Manny? You can draw your own conclusions, but the saying “styles make fights” is no cliche.
By now Marquez knows Pacquiao well enough to understand what to avoid. And he’ll likely avoid it. Of course, it’s the other way around too, and if there is a gap that Marquez has to make up, the onus is going to be up to him to come up with something.
The have been action fights, all three times. We have gone a full 36 rounds. It’s tough to see any concrete evidence that would point to a knockout. It will be hard to read the judges here as well. On the one hand, if it’s a close decision it’s kind of hard to fathom that Pacquiao would lose yet another one, like he did against Bradley, but on the other hand, Marquez, in the opinion of some, hasn’t gotten the benefit of the doubt in that area either. Unless he has aged significantly over the last year, there isn’t any reason to think that he couldn’t make this close again.
Is he only good enough to just barely lose, or is there something he can do to get himself over the top?
The answer to that question won’t be known for sure until later, and perhaps not even then. But there would appear to be some value in the odds of this fight going to another decision. If you were to favor Pacquiao, you would be laying anywhere from -200 to -225, while the over/under (in this case, we’ll use 10.5 rounds) is also fluctuating from -225 to -250, depending on where you look. The “over” is probably the wager that would offer the greater value here.