Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will face off for a fourth time in one of boxing's biggest rivalries.
The first three fights between these two were so close that each one was disputed, and there is no clear winner in this rivalry. However, the two will attempt to settle it one last time on December 8.
These are my predictions as these two try to definitively prove that they are better than the other.
The build up to the fourth fight may be just as compelling as the fight itself, as neither side will be quiet about their expectations for the fight.
Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, says that Pac-Man is at his best and even alluded to Marquez possibly taking PEDs in an interview with BadLeftHook.com.
He's giving me the fire I want. I told him, I said, 'Manny, I'll give you $1,000 every time you knock a sparring partner down.' I owe him $4,000 right now. He won't take it, but I just wanted to motivate him to do that, because we haven't had knockdowns in sparring since the Cotto fight. It's been a long time coming. His focus is a lot better than it's been, and I think Marquez is going to have a lot of trouble with this Manny Pacquiao.
Everyone says that we're on steroids. Now he's way bigger than us. It doesn't look natural. He built that muscle quite quickly. He has a controversial strength and conditioning coach. And, you know, I think if we got rid of all the strength and conditioning coaches in the world, they're all way overrated and they're bullshit, we got rid of all of them, we would have no drugs in boxing.
This is no doubt going to be part of an on-going battle before the fight where each side takes shots at the other, and could escalate very quickly since PED use is in the conversation.
After all the talking is said and done its time for the actual fight.
Pacquiao's speed will help him land a few quick punches on Marquez, and I fully expect him to dominate the first round or so.
However, Pacquiao doesn't have the stamina that he used to, whereas Marquez knows how to take a hit and keep fighting. He's been knocked down early by Pac-Man before and gotten up to finish the fight with a very close decision.
While Marquez will be looking to counter-punch early, once Pacquiao starts to wear down, we will see Dinamita start to take advantage of this opening and he will bring the fight back to a very close decision once again.
The reason we see these two fighters constantly have decisions that are decided by just a few points is because of their styles. While Pacquiao comes out early and goes up big, Marquez waits for his chance and eventually comes back to draw the fight nearly even.
It's going to happen again in the fourth fight between these two, but Pacquiao will get another close victory.
Prediction: Pacquiao wins 115-113, 115-113, 113-115
Same old same old.
With a fourth close decision there is obviously going to be some dispute from Marquez's side, and perhaps even an accusation or two that the fight was fixed.
These two will never be able to settle their differences in the ring, which is why both sides will be upset with the result and the verbal abuse will continue for weeks.
It's like deja vu all over again.