Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have provided us with boxing’s most exciting trilogy in recent years, but their score with one another still hasn’t been settled.
They will meet once again for an unprecedented fourth time on December 8 in Las Vegas. Both sides are hoping to erase any doubt in our minds that their boxer is the superior fighter in this series with a convincing win.
In the pre-hype fight hoopla, some bad blood has developed between both boxers, as Marquez claims to have won all three prior bouts. Pacquiao counters by stating he has granted Marquez's final wish for a fourth bout to see if he can finally defeat him in the ring.
Pacquiao has clearly slowed down inside the squared circle, as his punches have less impact, and he has become more vulnerable to be hit by opponents. Simply put, Pacquiao hasn’t looked good in his last three fights.
He vows to be more aggressive and dictate the pace in this upcoming fourth fight against Marquez (via Yahoo! Sports). To be more aggressive, Pacquiao must use his hand speed to contradict Marquez’s counter-punching style. If there’s an opening, Pacquiao must knock him out for an easy win. Also, Pacquiao must show great footwork or risk becoming Marquez’s punching bag.
For Marquez to win, he must stay on his feet and be fully committed to fighting a good technical bout. He is a very deliberate boxer that can lull Pacquiao into a mistake. A good counter-puncher must land their punch before getting hit by their opponent, and Marquez is confident that his hand speed and strength have improved since his last encounter with Pacquiao.
He cannot go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao or try to trade punches with him. He doesn’t have the punching strength and will lose that type of bout. The correct way to defeat Pacquiao is to frustrate him and connect on a flurry of punches before the round ends.
The bigger question for this upcoming bout is whether these two aging boxers have the stamina to execute their strategy for a full 12-rounds. This could be the most difficult bout for both Pacquiao and Marquez in their respective careers. Both of them desperately need a clear-cut win to cement their place as being one best fighters of their era.