Manny Pacquiao cannot win against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao is in a no-win situation when it comes to his long-awaited rubber match with his longtime nemesis (who actually has the you-know-what to actually step into the ring with him), Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez is taking place November 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and can be seen live on HBO PPV.
Many fight fans and critics are criticizing this rubber match, since they feel it is happening too late, when Manny is much larger and accustomed to fighting at the higher weight classes of welterweight whereas the smaller-framed Marquez has reached his weight class limit and should not really be fighting north of 135 lbs.
Manny is now 32 and Juan is much older, pushing the big 40 at the age of 38. Critics are saying this fight is happening way too late.
Their first fight happened seven years ago in which the official outcome was a controversial draw. The rematch took four years to happen, in 2008, where Manny won a highly controversial split decision. Three years later, here we are getting ready for the long-awaited rubber match.
Pacquiao must not just win, but he must win big to erase any doubts that Juan won their first two fights.
Marquez has never been stopped in his very impressive, legendary career that spans over 18 years and has seen him win numerous titles from 126 to 135. In fact, one of Juan's most impressive talents is how fast he recovers from a hard knockdown to pick himself up from the canvas and fight on even harder where lesser fighters would never get up.
So one of the real questions of this third matchup is, will Pacquiao be the first to stop Marquez?
Is Juan really looking for redemption or is he really looking to cash the biggest retirement check of his career?
The way I look at it: Even if Manny wins it, it seems he is in a no-win situation against Marquez.
Let's take a look at this slideshow and see exactly what I am talking about, shall we fight fans?
If Pacquiao wins by decision and it is close at all, then the critics will say a lot. They will most likely say that, even at 38, Juan still gave Manny trouble for the third fight.
Some will even say, had they fought this third fight earlier, then Juan may have pulled the win.
So if Manny were to win by a decision, he needs to win by a huge unanimous decision much like how a prime Roy Jones Jr. would win every single round of his 12-round fights, leaving zero doubt that his opponent never even had a chance.
Longtime critics of Manny often point out that he looks best when fighting aggressive fighters such as himself, who are willing to trade and open up against him. Juan is a good hybrid of a technical counter-puncher and a traditional Mexican slugger.
If you see their first two fights when Juan would be patient and wait to break down and counter Manny, he had his most success but when he decided to become macho and trade fire with fire with the Filipino superstar, that is when he would get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of power shots being thrown.
If Juan tries to make it a technical chess match, he may have more of a chance than most are predicting for him.
So again, Manny must win by a huge unanimous decision where there is no doubt that he won—let's say by at least nine rounds to three rounds or even 10 to two. Anything less and you will see the criticism start pouring out like Niagara Falls.
If Pacquiao wins by decision, then Floyd Mayweather Jr. ( the one real fight everyone and their grandma wants to see happen) will probably say something to the degree of: "Look at Manny, he barely got past Juan Manuel Marquez, and I totally dominated him. I won by a one-sided unanimous decision and knocked him down in the second round, one judge even scored it 120 to 107 for the greatest to ever do it, me!"
Whenever the media questions Mayweather on fighting Pacquiao he often brings up Marquez and states how he was ranked No. 2 on the pound-for-pound rankings at the time and how he easily dominated him for 12 rounds while Manny fought life and death with Marquez and many thought Manny lost to Juan twice.
So with that being said, should Manny win by a decision that was not as dominating and unanimous as Mayweather's decision over Marquez, then Floyd will most likely use this as a reason to not have to fight Pacquiao.
Watch the post-fight conference video of Mayweather/Ortiz as Floyd mentions his fight with Marquez at 1:47 of the video where he says,
"I don't take anything away from Marquez...Pacquiao fighting Marquez and we know he got his ass kicked twice, we know this...I took two years off came back and fought him, they say you too big for Marquez, but you not too big for Pacquiao, but they the same size, I just don't understand man"
So again, if Manny wins a decision against Marquez, it must be a spectacular unanimous decision equal to or even greater than Mayweather's win over Marquez or Floyd will use it against him as a reason not to fight him and we all lose.
P.S. Notice how Floyd says he is in a "no-win situation" no matter what.
If Pacquiao wins by an early knockout of Marquez, then many of his critics will probably discredit the win by saying Marquez is too old and too small for Manny at welterweight in 2011.
I've spoken to many boxing journalists at the Mayweather/Ortiz post-fight conference and the majority of them feel Manny will knock Juan out and utterly destroy him. Most of them are citing the fact that Manny is now more of a complete dangerous fighter than in the first two fights with Marquez. Also that Juan is simply too small to be fighting at welterweight where he no longer has his size, power and speed as he did in the lower weight classes.
If Manny utterly destroys Marquez this time around, you can probably assume Floyd Mayweather will look at this and say something to the degree of: "How is it possible that Pacquiao struggled so bad with Juan in their first two fights and now all of a sudden, at the age of 32, he annihilates the man who beat him twice?"
Floyd will probably say to himself, "Oh, hell no, this just doesn't make any sense" and then we the fans can kiss the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight goodbye.
So now we have covered why Pacquiao would probably not get the credit for a close decision or an early knockout win over Marquez and would probably give ammo to Mayweather to trash talk and not fight him.
So with that being said, what can Manny do to win in this fight? Well, despite the criticism of this fight happening way too late and Manny's now more comfortable welterweight limit, he can win over most of the critics and fans by providing a great fight. The first two Pacquiao/Marquez fights were both fight-of-the-year candidates where both pugilists left it all in the ring and traded and fought as if their lives depended on it for 24 rounds.
I had the honor of being ringside for the rematch at Mandalay Bay and I must say that was one of the most thoroughly entertaining fights I have ever seen live. It was a very close fight where, that night sitting ringside, I actually scored it for Marquez by a round or two.
But ironically, when I went home and saw the replay on HBO a week later, I scored it for Pacquiao. I think from my ringside seat, I could not see clearly if a lot of the shots that Marquez was throwing were either blocked or evaded by Manny, but because he has such a bad long 70s Bruce Lee haircut, whenever he blocked these punches, I saw his hair shaking all over the place.
But again, when I rewatched it on HBO a week later, I saw most of those punches that I thought landed did not actually land for the HBO camera crew had a better view of the action than I did from my view at my ringside seat.
Ultimately, I scored it 114 to 113—the same exact score as one of the official judges that night, Tom Miller.
Had Manny not scored that brutal hard knockdown at the end of Round 3, then it would have gone to Marquez or at least another draw.
So essentially, if Pacquiao and Marquez can reproduce another third exciting war and trade and leave it all in the ring, then the fight fans and even the media will love it and be content as many of Pacquiao fights are viewed the same way in the end despite the criticism.
However, this time around, Manny should produce the stoppage and it should be a mid- to late-round stoppage.
Marquez is one of those very few fighters who you do have to literally kill or he will keep coming forward like a terminator, even after being floored hard several times. Hell, Pacquiao knocked him down hard four times and he still got up each time to fight harder and harder.
So knowing the invincible heart of Marquez, the stoppage will probably have to come from either the referee or his legendary trainer Nacho Beristain, seeing him taking on way too much punishment.
Should Pacquiao provide a stoppage from round 6 to 12 after fighting toe-to-toe for every single round, then he can be winner in a no-win situation.
Floyd Mayweather should view a mid- to late-stoppage win or even a wide unanimous win for Pacquiao as impressive enough for him to finally fight Manny next.
If Floyd does not fight Manny after a big convincing late-round stoppage or unanimous decision, then at the very least he can no longer say Manny fought life and death and lost three times to Marquez and use that as an excuse not to fight him.
In my eyes, if Pacquiao can win in an impressive late-round stoppage against Marquez, then he has absolutely nothing else to prove. He can call it a career and be fine with that and he does not need to even fight Floyd Mayweather 'cause, just as I explained in this previous article, it is Mayweather who needs Pacquiao more so than the other way around.
So fight fans, I hate to break it to you, but Pacquiao vs. Marquez might very well be the last super mega fight for Pacquiao if the rumors that his next future opponents might be Top Rank in-house opponents such as Tim Bradley, which would make a decent fight but not a super mega fight, or Mike Jones, who many casual fans would say, "The rapper?"
This is what may be next should Mayweather not fight him.
With that being said, enjoy this final installment of the trilogy of two of the greatest warriors of our generation come November 12th, 2011 'cause, again, even though it may be a bit too late in the making, at least it is happening.
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