Pacquiao vs. Marquez: Will Sparring Knockdowns Equal KO Win for Pac-Man?

Mick Akers@@mickakersAnalyst IDecember 8, 2012

Dec 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Manny Pacquiao (left) and Juan Manuel Marquez pose for a photo during their weigh-in the day before their fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of the talk leading up the fourth fight between longtime foes Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez has been about the supposedly refocused Pacquiao and his intensity in his training and sparring sessions. Pacquiao is said to have knocked down four sparring partners (per, something trainer Freddie Roach said has not happened in a long time.

With Pacquiao showing that his killer instinct may have been absent over his last several bouts, a KO victory is not out of the question for Pac-Man.

Pacquiao is currently on a five-fight streak of winning by decision and has not won by KO since beating Miguel Cotto by TKO in 2009.

Marquez has felt Pacquiao's power before in their three previous meetings, as Pacquiao has knocked Marquez down a total of four times—three times in the first bout alone.

With Pacquiao's advantage in speed and his main goal being to win convincingly, there is a real chance that Pacquiao could end the fourth bout before the full 12 rounds are complete.

A factor that could aid Pac-Man's quest for a knockout victory is Marquez saying that he wants to go for the KO victory as well.

Usually a defensive fighter, Marquez's becoming more aggressive will also open up more chances for Pacquiao to land power shots that could get Marquez in trouble. If both fighters come out more aggressively, as they are claiming, a KO victory could finally come in a series full of decisions.

After three fights with controversial decisions, a win by KO would finally allow boxing enthusiasts to settle the debate over who is the better fighter.

Not only would knocking out Marquez confirm who the better fighter of the two is, it would also send a message to the rest of the boxing world that the Pacquiao of old is back and very much still a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.