Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez: What We've Learned from Previous 3 Fights
There's always the opportunity for unnecessary excitement when Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez get together in the ring.
For the fourth time in this epic saga, Pacquiao and Marquez will square off on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Fresh in the minds of many boxing fans is the controversial decision that saw Pacquiao awarded the win (115-113, 114-114, 116-112) despite many feeling that Marquez had out-boxed Pac Man in that November 2011 fight.
If you can stomach listening to Skip Bayless' voice for nearly seven minutes, I'd highly recommend checking out this ESPN First Take interview with both Pacquiao and Marquez reacting to the controversial 2011 decision (h/t YouTube).
Besides coming to the conclusion that boxing could use a few new pairs of eyes at the judges' table, we've come to learn that Marquez can't beat arguably the world's best fighter in Pacquiao.
That was evident from the first time these two met in May 2004, when the match ended in a draw. Yes, you read that right: The match ended in a draw, but Pac Man earned a win that day even if the record books don't show it.
Who wins the Dec. 8 fight?
According to BBC Sport, Burt Clements, a judge in the 2004 fight, admitted that he made a scoring mistake in the fight, which cost Pacquiao the WBA and IBF featherweight belts after Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the first round.
"Clearly, it wasn't non-awareness that there were three knockdowns...I just screwed up. I feel badly because I dropped the ball, plainly and simply."
Clearly, had Clements scored the fight correctly, Pacquiao would have won the fight and asserted immediate dominance over Marquez.
In their next meeting in March 2008, the judges correctly scored the fight, with Pacquiao coming out on top in a split decision, 112-115, 115-112, 113-114. Again, it was a fight that probably could have been scored either way, but Pacquiao's knockdown of Marquez in the third round was the difference, which you can see in this video:
All in all, looking back at the past three fights between these two men, it's clear to see that although Marquez fought well enough in the most recent fight last year, Pacquiao has been the better fighter throughout this rivalry.
Marquez may have a great counter-punch, but what he lacks is speed, and that's exactly what the Pac Man has over Marquez entering the fourth fight.
If Pacquiao can utilize his speed and combos, he'll undoubtedly have the edge over an aging Marquez.
But then again, as we've come to learn, the judges will probably have more of an impact on the fight than the men in the ring.
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