I truly believe that out of all the opponents that Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2) has faced to this day, Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1) is the only one that wholeheartedly doesn’t fear the Filipino sensation in the ring.
“I have no fear to Pacquiao. I will do my best in the ring and I am very calm," Marquez stated in a recent interview with BoxingScene.com, "I will beat Pacquiao with intelligence. I'm sure this time, Manny will use his right hand more, but I'm working to be ready for whatever he bring.”
Many will see this statement as the run of the mill “I am not afraid of anyone” statement that all boxers seem to make before any and all fights they are involved in. And technically, it is exactly that.
The difference is Marquez already has had an enormous amount of experience with Pacquiao, and thus, is more familiar with him than any other opponent the eight-time world champion has faced, or will face, in the future.
The reason I am taking my time to write this piece is because this is a crucial factor in all boxing matchups. Fear is a fighter’s worst enemy in the ring—fighters constantly freeze up, stiffen up, abandon their strategy and game plan, and, soon enough, lose all hope as well.
This is a common occurrence in the sport and certainly a factor in Pacquiao's past fights, whether clear to the boxing spectators or not.
Maruqez is a great athlete and a tremendous strategist, and with authentic confidence and trust in his own abilities, he is doing himself a huge favor—with the possibility of surprising or shocking many people.
No matter what the result comes out to be, both men have created a boxing media and fan storm, and people are thrilled to see both men cross the ropes and finish the long-time debate once and for all.