Pacquiao vs. Marquez: Just the Facts!
By Robert Jackson: Neither fighter here needs any introduction so let’s get down to the analysis followed by a prediction.
Article posted on 12.11.2011
Cornered by Nacho Beristain-trainer of 23 world champions, since his amateur days, Marquez has attained a professional record of 53-5-1. Beristain brings classic boxing to his stable of fighters and has said that of all of his champions Marquez is the best!! What needs be mentioned here is the addition of Strength and Conditioning Angel Heredia to the Marquez camp. Heredia’s checkered past which saw him DEEPLY involved in the Balco scandal has many concerned even Team Pacquiao members. This additional training has muscularized Marquez body to accommodate the additional weight of fighting at the welterweight division, but questions remain that won’t be answered until fight night.
Freddie Roach has cornered Manny Pacquiao for his last 11 fights and has improved Manny-turning him from a one-handed fighter into boxing’s P4P best. Add in the strength and conditioning provided by Alex Ariza and one can see why Pacquiao is at the top.
The improvement of Manny Pacquiao’s skills is noticeable down to the capable right hook he now throws and the head movement he employs to evade his opponents punches. But deep down inside Pacquiao is a brawler and when the fight gets frantic so does Pacman and will sometimes abandon the seasoning that Fred Roach has given him returning to what he was pre-Roach. This is one of the things that Marquez is hoping for. 2nd only to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Juan Manuel Marquez is a thinking fighter that works traps and setups to get his opponents to fall prey to his fists. He is a master of every punch and delivers them crisply and accurately.
In this category Pacquiao has no equal except maybe the aforementioned Floyd Mayweather Jr, but in Pacquiao’s case he can throw very fast punches in bunches whereas Floyd tends to throw one or two fast punches at a time looking for his shots. Pacquiao throws caution to the wind and tries to hit his foes with as many fast punches as it takes. Marquez is no turtle but he also employs a somewhat conservative output when it comes to speed because his primary tactic is that of a counterpuncher, so he’ll only open up when it’s too his advantage to do so.
Coming up from 106lbs, Pacquiao has matured into a full fledged welterweight and has attained his ‘man strength’. Having toppled top welterweights Cotto and Margarito it’s well known that Pacman carries power in both hands. As a 135lber Marquez has a high KO ratio, but above that weight Marquez’ power doesn’t seem to translate, against Mayweather shots that would’ve KO’d a 135lber just made ‘Lil’ Floyd smile.
In most fights involving Pacquiao, Manny seems to be able to go at a very high pace from round 1 until round 12, no stamina issues here. Marquez at 38 on the other hand has had to wait for his ‘second wind’ to kick in, especially against Juan Diaz in their first fight and most recently against Michael Katsidis.
Marquez has been down or almost down in his last 5 fights. Heredia has put some muscle on Marquez’ upper-body, but has he improved Marquez legs, because you know the first thing to go when you get older is the legs? With the previous fights being very close affairs Marquez may just have Pacquiao’s number. Marquez had plenty of time to prepare physically for this fight. Pacquiao may just be too big and strong for Marquez at this point in both men’s careers.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Angel Heredia/Hernandez has put his past behind him and has done a good-legal job to prepare Marquez physically for Pacquiao. I’m also going to say that Marquez does indeed have Pacquiao’s number. What I’m not going to say is that Marquez is going to win. Pacquiao wins another competitive fight by late TKO or UD, but both men will go down in this one.
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