Things are going to be different when Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) meet for the fourth time on Saturday night.
Pacquiao has a plan, as he explained to the Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire:
Aggressiveness is the most important thing for this fight.
In and out, in and out, side by side. Speed, hip movement. We have a Plan A and Plan B. The plans are to pressure and counter him. Move my head. A lot of work.
If there’s a chance (for a knockout), I’m going to do my best to make the fight look easy.
To be fair, nobody has been able to accomplish that feat against Dinamita over his 61 career bouts.
But Pacquiao is younger and faster than Marquez.
He has a plan of attack to remove Marquez's counter punches from the equation, and Pacquiao is as motivated for this fight as he has been for a bout in quite some time.
I have to prove they’re wrong. My last two or three fights have not been impressive, but guys are running and running from me after I hit them. I thought Marquez ran all night, and [Timothy] Bradley backed off.
I’m still young and strong.
We can't overlook what Pacquiao being motivated for this bout means, because it's going to make a big difference.
Over the past few years, his concentration has been pulled in multiple directions.
He is the lone representative for the district of Sarangani in the Philippine House of Representatives, a position he has held since winning 66 percent of the vote in a 2010 election.
Per ABS-CBN News, Pacquiao plans on running for governor of the province in the 2013 local elections.
A devout catholic, Pacquiao has also felt himself directed by a higher power. According to Yahoo! Sports, Pac-Man told a radio station in the Philippines that god told him to retire sooner rather than later:
“I will not stay long in boxing because He said: ‘You have done enough. You have made yourself famous but this is harmful.’”
Many believe that those multiple distractions led to performances in his past few fights that were far below what people had come to expect from the eight-division world champion.
Manny Paquiao is re-inventing himself for this one while Marquez is coming into this fight with the same plan of attack as he's had in each of the previous three bouts.
It's a new, improved Pac-Man.
Unlike their previous three fights, which were all hotly contested and could have gone to either boxer on the judges' scorecards, Pacquiao will leave little doubt as to who the winner is in this one.
Pacquiao will knock Marquez out, and it's going to come well before the 12th and final round of the match.