Fourth Time is the Charm?

By Frank LaCosta

Saving their best for last in this final showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is what will be needed to keep boxing fans happy. The two fighters know each other quite well from their previous three matches. It will take a spectacular effort from one of them to win this fight in a convincing manner. In theory a fourth fight between two good fighters is a good thing but many of the talking heads believe that this is nothing more than sloppy matchmaking.

A Match Made for Old Men

For Marquez who is well past his peak, if he defeats Pacquiao it will be the signature win that he has been searching for. But how long will he be able to bask in the glory of the victory if he is successful. The man is 39 years old. If Pacquiao dominates this fight it will be nothing more than a good win, perhaps an expected win. However with Pacquiao’s loss against Timothy Bradley many experts have dropped him significantly in the rankings. The dream match-up with Floyd Mayweather may be out of reach. This fight might not have been in Pacquiao’s best interest. He is 33 years old with not many years left in the tank.

So let’s face it, both fighters are past their prime. Neither has had a free fall from the top, rather each one has clung onto a slow downward slide. Unlike other rivalries, this fight figures to resemble the previous matches since both fighters have maintained their basic skill set (rumor has it that Pacquiao has lost a step recently). Their first fight goes back almost a decade ago. Expect a lower quality of fight since they are so familiar with each other and the match-up remains the same.

The Prediction

It’s only been about a year since their last fight and the playing field hasn’t really changed much. Marquez brings his superior skill and craftsmanship to the ring pitted against Pacquiao’s athleticism and explosiveness. Like the previous bouts, Pacquiao will be the more flashy, eye-catching boxer who leads with his left. Marquez like a robot will stand his ground and counter with calculated composed punches. This will happen round after round.

Both camps have announced that they’ve changed strategies and to expect the unexpected. Sure there will be a few wrinkles but leopards don’t change their spots as the saying goes. Both fighters have a ton of experience and are set in their ways in the ring. Since they’re so familiar with each other expect a similar fight to their last one. The only advantage here that could go Pacquiao’s way is that the fight will be a full welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

The judges are human and could be influenced from their knowledge of the previous fights between the two. Will the Pacquiao/Bradley fight weigh in? Will the fact that Marquez was shortchanged previously in a fight he should have won over Pacquiao? Perhaps ever so slightly.

Expect more of the same with Pacquiao winning another close one.

Tale of the Tape

Manny Pacquiao 54-4-2 (38 KOs)    vs     Juan Manuel Marquez 54-6-1 (39 KOs)

Age: 33                                                           Age: 39

Stance: Southpaw                                          Stance: Orthodox

Height: 5’6.5”                                                 Height: 5’7”

Reach: 67”                                                     Reach: 67”

Nickname: Pac Man                                       Nickname: Dinamita (Dynamite)

Country: Philippines                                      Country: Mexico

Record Against Marquez: 2-0-1                  Record Against Pacquiao: 0-2-1


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