Everybody loves an underdog story, but it's unlikely they'll love it when Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Manny Pacquiao.
On December 8, Marquez and Pacquiao will be meeting in the ring for the fourth time. The Pac-Man has won the previous three fights, but the opinion has been far from unanimous as to who actually has the upper hand in the rivalry.
A loss in this fight for Pacquiao would do nothing to rekindle any possible hype for the prospective super-fight between he and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As Marquez has shown in the past, he's not going to be intimidated whatsoever when he steps into the ring. If anything, the motivation for him is much larger, as he wants to prove once and for all that he can beat Pacquiao.
The biggest problem for Pacquiao is how much he has looked to be significantly declining in the ring. Although he's only 33 years old, he has looked much older in his past few fights.
He has been at such a high level for so long, that when he does lose a step, it's much more apparent.
Muhammad Ali is the greatest of all time, but when he hit his mid-30s, he was a shell of his former self. He changed his style a bit, so he was able to prolong his career, but it has caught up to him in a big way.
Fighters like Pacquiao and Ali, who rely so much on moving around the ring and avoiding their opponent, find it much harder to try and compensate for the decline of their physical abilities than those who can stand in and take punishment before countering or those who go right into the attack from the opening bell.
Marquez is actually six years older, but he has been able to maintain a much closer level to his peak. He's never reached the heights of Pacquiao, but over time, their talent levels have begun to even out.
If Marquez has learned anything over the previous three fights, it's that in order to win, he's going to have to knock Pacquiao out. He can't leave the decision in the judges' hands because even when he looks to have won, the judges think otherwise.
He'll take the fight right to the Pac-Man. Marquez will wear Pacquiao down over time, and in the later rounds, he will deliver the knockout blow.
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