The story behind the match between Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 was supposed to be whether Floyd Mayweather would be next on the agenda in the event of a Pacquiao win. However, Marquez is making news himself.
It was recently revealed that Marquez's strength and conditioning coach was Angel Heredia, who provided banned substances to Trevor Graham, the former coach of track-and-field stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.
That has caused many to speculate about Marquez's noticeable change in physique as he readies to face Pacquiao for a third time. Marquez insists that he has simply changed his training regimen, but there are obviously going to be some questions when you consider who he has been linked to.
I'm not going to speculate on whether or not he used or is using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. However, I will say that it won't even come into play. Whether Marquez is doping or not, Pacquiao is simply the better fighter, and I think he will have little trouble defeating Marquez.
I realize that Pacquiao narrowly averted defeat against Marquez twice in the past. Nevertheless, Pac-Man seems to be better now than he has ever been, while Marquez's skills are noticeably in decline. While steroids can help in the training process, they simply can't turn back time.
If that weren't enough, Pacquiao should be more focused now than he has ever been. A possible monster pay day is looming in the form of a fight with Mayweather. Pacquiao knows that a win over Marquez is absolutely necessary in order for that match to ever happen.
Pacquiao also has his legacy to think about. Marquez has taken him to the brink twice and is the only real obstacle Pac-Man still has to clear before Mayweather. It is true that Pacquiao won the last meeting, but it was extremely controversial and far from decisive.
It is obvious that Pacquiao wants a completely clean and unquestioned victory over Marquez, and I think he will achieve that next weekend. Marquez's possible steroid use should be a non-issue. When Pacquiao and Marquez step between the ropes, the better man is going to win.
Right now, I don't think there can be any argument against Pacquiao being the better fighter. No chemical enhancement is going to change that.
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