The eight-time World Champion Juan Manuel Marquez has the heart of a lion.
He has placed his titles and, quite frankly his life, on the line each of the 59 times he has entered the ring.
Marquez has been in the squared circle with Juan Diaz (twice), Floyd Mayweather Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Joel Casamayor and Rocky Juarez. However, few if any of the above named fighters have tested Marquez like the B.W.A.A. Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao.
Their two bouts have been so closely contested, it has led Marquez to an unhealthy obsession with fighting Manny.
However, I don’t believe the obsession stems only from what the fighters may have done in those bouts, but also from an unintentional act by an observer. The observer I refer to is Burt Clements, the judge responsible for the scoring error in their 2004 encounter.
Burt Clements scored the first round of the fight 10-7 for Pacquiao.
Manny dominated Marquez in the first round which would normally lead to a 10-9 scoring, but Pacquiao put Juan Manuel on the canvas three times.
A point should be deducted for each of the three knockdowns in addition to the point deduction for ring generalship, aggressiveness and controlling the action.
That would make it a 10-6 round in favor of Pacquiao which Judge Burt Clements later conceded too. "It used to be that a three-knockdown round was 10-7," Clements told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "I take full responsibility. Had I been aware, I would have scored it 10-6."
If the scoring error had never occurred, judge Clements would have the bout 113-112 in favor of Pacquiao, making him the winner by decision.
This scoring error caused Marquez to believe the fight was closer than it was.
While training for his second bout with Pacquiao, Marquez told a reporter, “The fight is very interesting. I do not feel I have to prove anything because I feel like I won the first fight, even though they declared it a draw."
Refusing to acknowledge the comments from Judge Clements, Marquez continued, "But this time, I want to make a new history. I know the same thing won't happen as it did on May 8, 2004, as there will be no doubt as to who won this one."
As history dictates, Pacquiao won the second bout by split decision.
Certainly, to my knowledge, there has never been a "rubber match" granted when one of the fighters has lost two of the previous bouts but I regress.
This scoring error along with a misguided fan base has allowed Marquez to believe he won the two previous bouts and look past the blatantly obvious. Pacquiao is a different fighter than he was in 2008, physically as well as proficiency.
In this writer's opinion, this misguided belief will lead to the rapid demise of Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao to win by KO inside six rounds.