Boxing


Manny Pacquiao: Why Pacman will Destroy Marco Antonio Barrera

19.11.06 - By Ted Sares: The MAB-Manny Pacquiao bout has not yet been made but if and when it is, it will be similar to the second Morales-Pacquiao fight, or at least the result will be. Once again, it would feature one fighter at the top of his game and moving with positive momentum and another who may be fading, though that will in no way harm his chances for future induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. "Pac Man" is going up the elevator and "The Baby-Faced Assassin," off his two fights with Rocky Juarez, seems to have slowed down. Here is how I see their rematch playing out, but first the breakdown:

Height and Weight:

Barrera, 63-4-0-1, stands 5 ft. 6 in and has about the same reach as Pacquiao who is 56 1/2. Manny always appears comfortable no matter what weight is designated. For his part, MAB always comes in fit and ready as well.

Stamina:

The days of 12 round brawls with Erik Morales may be over for Marco Antonio Barrera. He can no longer sustain that kind of pace. In his last fight, Pacquiao, who fights with sustained and non-stop intensity, had little trouble with Morales knocking him down three times en route to a 3 round TKO victory. Previously, he beat Mexican Oscar Larios to retain his World Boxing Council super bantamweight title over 12 rounds . He knocked down Larios twice with a series of combinations, swelling his left eye nearly shut in an awesome display of power boxing. Stamina for "The Pac Man" will not be an issue. A big edge here for Pacquiao.

Experience:

MAB had a successful amateur boxing career where he won 55 out of 58 bouts. At 32, he is five years older than Pacquiao but in terms of wear and tear, he may be considerably "older" having fought many ferocious battles against great opposition in his 68 pro bouts. Who can forget his three wars with "El Terrible?" Since turning pro at 15, he scored a number of spectacular wins over a list of opponents which reads like a "whose who." And names like Junior Jones, Kennedy McKinney, Carlos Hernandez, Johhny Tapia, Prince Naseem, Rocky Juarez, Eddie Cook, Jesse Benavides, Pastor Humberto Maurin, Paulie Ayala, Robbie Peden, Kevin Kelley, Jesus Salud, Junior Jones, Jose Luis Bueno, and, of course, Manny Pacquiao dot his resume.

If his opposition's won-lost record were added up, the result would be eye-popping. Significantly, however, his last three fights have gone the distance perhaps indicating that he has become more of a boxer than boxer-puncher.

On the other hand, Pacquiao has 48 fights under his belt (43-3-2, with 34 ko's). Manny has the edge in ko percentage (79%), but of more significance, he destroyed Morales in November delivering a spectacular performance culminating in a devastating stoppage in the 3rdround. In their second fight, Pacquiao was the first to ever stop Morales. Both are warriors who have fought and beat solid opposition.

Chin:

Off his first fight with Pacquiao, there are questions about his heretofore reliability to take a punch. Sometimes fighters grow old overnight and that may be the case with MAB. On the other hand, two of Manny's three losses were by ko, the last in 1999 to the very capable Medgoen Singsurat, 44-4 and against Rustico Torrecampo, 14-8, in1996.This might be a chink in the Pacquiao armor, but I doubt it.

Style:

Barrera is multi-dimensional and orthodox with an edge in boxing ability. He is a complete fighter who can brawl or box with equal degrees of success, but that was true of a "younger" Barrera.

Pacquiao skills have increased considerably under the tutelage of Freddie Roach and that gap has closed. Pound for pound, he may well be the most devastating puncher in boxing today. For his part, the Pac Man, a southpaw, has polished his jab and now includes in his impressive arsenal a sharp and crisp right hook to go with his sledgehammer left. He has incredible speed, endurance, power; the whole package....and he enjoys doing what he does.

These weapons proved far too much for both El Terrible and Larrios. In a sequence of three fights with Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Fahsan 3K Battery, he decked them 9 times. Add two more each for Larrios and Morales and three more for the second Morales fight and you are now up to 16! Numbers don't lie.

Both have high boxers IQ's though Manny can sometimes lose focus but this certainly was not the case on November 18.

Going with the power boxer over the boxer puncher, I give the overall advantage to Pacquiao in this all important category.

Intangibles:

Never count Barrera out of any fight. He has the pure pedigree of a champion and is comfortable within himself. While he may have more machismo than is good for him, he also has superior ring smarts. But he will have to fight differently than he did in his first fight with Manny. If he doesn't, it will prove fatal. MAB has been through many brutal wars in the ring and a fighter can grow old overnight. It hasn't happened to him yet, but it may not matter given what Pacquiao brings to the table.

As for Manny, He is perhaps the most exciting fighters in the sport of boxing. He is trained by Freddy Roach and the two seem extremely comfortable with one another. Manny may have some flaws, but I'll be darned if I can find them. And after all, no one is perfect. Moreover, once a fighter brutalizes another such as Manny did to MAB in their first fight, it has to give him the clear edge in confidence.

Prediction:

Manny Pacquiao has lost only one fight since 1999.....and he avenged that loss in destructive fashion. He is at the top of his game. Can the same be said for MAB who, like a cat, may think he has nine lives? I see Manny dictating the action after the second round, picking up the pace considerably and then nullifying whatever skill advantage Marco Antonio might have by putting relentless pressure on him and then luring him into furious exchanges.

Marco Antonio will soon find out that Manny Pacquiao is no Rocky Juarez. His warrior heart will take over but, as with Morales, it will prove to be his undoing, for it will take more than heart to hold off the incoming, relentless and merciless Pac Man. For the second time, I see him stopping the "Baby-Faced Assassin" but this time within five rounds in destructive fashion.

A Manny Pacquiao comes along only once in a great while. Enjoy him while he is here.

Article posted on 21.11.2006



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