As Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez get set for what is sure to be a back-and-forth battle on Saturday at the MGM Grand, opinions vary as to whether Pacquiao will give a better showing than the November 2011 encounter.
After all, although Pacquiao won that fight on the score cards, many people believe Marquez got robbed by the judges.
The good news for Pacquiao is he looked much better and much more aggressive against Timothy Bradley Jr. in June, although he appeared to be on the wrong side of controversy himself in the loss.
Pacquiao threw more punches and landed at a higher percentage against Bradley than he did in November against Marquez. He connected on 34 percent of all punches against Bradley (253-of-751, according to CompuBox, via BoxingScene.com), but connected on only 30 percent of all punches against Marquez (176-of-578).
And while Pacquiao's power punches landed at a lower percentage against Bradley than they did against Marquez, almost two-thirds of his punches against Bradley were power punches (compared to 47 percent versus Marquez).
Given what transpired against Bradley, I wouldn't be surprised if Pacquiao is highly active against Marquez this time around, because he will likely try to go for the knockout instead of handing it over to the judges again.
On the flip side, Marquez should be highly active as well, given his "loss" to Pacquiao in November 2011.
I am predicting Pacquiao will throw about 650 punches this time around against Marquez and land just over 200 (over 30 percent).
As for Marquez, I could see him throwing 475 punches (up from the 436 he threw in November 2011) and connecting on about 142 of them (30 percent).
Both boxers know nothing will be handed to them on Saturday at the MGM Grand, and the style of boxing should reflect that. Look for another scintillating matchup between the longtime rivals.