For the fourth time in nine years, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will step into the ring and attempt to settle who the clear-cut winner is in the saga between these two boxers.
Although Pacquiao won the last fight in November 2011 (115-113, 114-114, 116-112), there are a lot of boxing fans who feel that the Dinamita should have been awarded the win over Pac-Man, which surely sets the stage for the fourth fight on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Marquez doesn't show any victories against Pacquiao, but there are a lot of positive things to be taken by JMM from his previous three fights against Pacquiao.
After being knocked down three times in the first round of fight No. 1 in May 2004, JMM battled back and actually out-boxed Pac-Man for the remainder of the fight, leading to a draw.
Pacquiao won the second fight via split decision, but it was again another close fight that saw both fighters land powerful shots on each other.
Power punches have defined Marquez's game plan against Pacquiao, as ESPN's Tyler Norsworthy writes:
Marquez's strength has been with his counterpunching, opening up chances to throw power punches with his right hand. Marquez threw more than 25 power punches per round in 16 of 36 rounds, winning 11 of them (68.8 percent).
Norsworthy goes on to write that if Marquez can land roughly 40 percent of his power punches—assuming he throws 25 or more—he should get the nod from the judges in that department.
As you'll read in Norsworthy's piece, Marquez has been out-boxed in the first three rounds of each fight. As long as he comes out and lands some power punches in the beginning of the fight, he'll have Pacquiao set up for failure.
Looking to establish himself as the clear victor in this rivalry, Pacquiao will probably come out aggressive hoping to KO Marquez. If he does, you can expect the Dinamita to take advantage of Pacquiao's aggressiveness by landing powerful counters and not letting Pacquiao's jabs affect his rhythm.
Overall, Marquez has landed more shots than Pacquiao has (h/t ESPN's Andrew Davis). If Marquez can continue landing powerful shots as often as he has in the past, I like his chances of beating Pacquiao for the first time.
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