Pacquiao vs. Marquez: 10 Reasons Pacquiao Has Had Trouble with Marquez
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have provided boxing fans with two of the most entertaining fights in the last decade. On Saturday night, they lace the gloves up for a third time in what will assuredly be another "Fight of the Year" contender.
Marquez has been Pacquiao's greatest foe. In fact, Marquez has won the majority of the rounds in the two fights, with Pacquiao's knockdowns providing just enough points to avoid losses in both bouts. Here are 10 reasons Marquez has given Pacquiao so much trouble in the past and will likely give the pound-for-pound champ issues on Saturday night.
Juan Manuel Marquez Can Hurt Manny Pacquiao
Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the few fighters in the welterweight division with the power to hurt Manny Pacquiao.
Marquez has not scored a single knockdown through the first two fights, but he has knocked Pacquiao around. As if Pac Man did not have enough skill, he also has a great chin to fall back on when he gets in trouble. That chin was the only thing stopping him from eating canvas against Marquez.
In the first fight, Marquez cut Pacquiao in the fifth round. In that round and the sixth, Marquez landed huge right hands that nearly knocked Pacquiao down. Pacquiao displayed his phenomenal athleticism, as those punches all but lifted his feet off the ground. Somehow, Pac Man remained standing. His ability to do so has been the determining factor in the razor-thin margins of the scorecards.
Juan Manuel Marquez's Straight Right Hand
Once Juan Manuel Marquez regained his composure after the knockdowns in the first Manny Pacquiao fight, something became painfully obvious: Marquez can land the right hand whenever he wants.
The straight right hand has been Marquez’s weapon of choice against his greatest rival. It was the hand that delivered the aforementioned near-knockdowns and the cut in the first fight. In the eighth round of the second fight, Marquez again staggered and cut Pacquiao. The cut had a physical and mental effect on the pound-for-pound champ, as I have never seen him dominated like that in any round of his career.
Marquez’s left hand sets the table, but it is his right that cleans it. If Marquez can finally return the favor and put Pacquiao on the floor, we will have a different winner on Saturday night.
Manny Pacquiao came out spitting fire in the first fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. His mini-Mike Tyson style would have been enough to end the fight and any potential rivalry in the first round against 99 percent of the fighters out there.
Not many men would the have physical capability to get up from a three-knockdown round. Even fewer would have the mental fortitude to keep battling in an impossible uphill climb. Marquez did not give up and nearly pulled off the impossible, earning a draw.
What he gave the fans was more important. Marquez could have stayed down, collected his paycheck and lived to fight another day. That would have been the end of it—no rematch and no trilogy. Instead, Marquez opened the doors to three “Fight of the Year” contenders, a debt of gratitude all boxing fans owe him.
Juan Manuel Marquez Can Dominate the Range
Manny Pacquiao is almost always the shorter fighter and will be again when he faces Juan Manuel Marquez.
The difference between Marquez and the rest of Pacquiao’s taller opponents is that he has the all-around skill to make his height a true advantage. Marquez’s accurate straights and jabs means Pacquiao will have to pay for getting in close and using his power.
Marquez’s ability to keep Pacquiao at bay has been a huge factor in Marquez’s ability to win the ever-important battle of range.
Juan Manuel Marquez Is a Very Intelligent Fighter
Manny Pacquiao is such a skilled fighter, he changes his style several times throughout the fight.
One round Pacquiao can look like a mini-Mike Tyson, bobbing and weaving around the ring. In the next, Pacquiao can look like a more aggressive Floyd Mayweather, relying on skill and hand speed to win the round.
Marquez has seen it all through the years, and his ability to recognize these stylistic changes has been a factor in his ability to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao.
Juan Manuel Marquez Knows How to Adapt to Survive
Juan Manuel Marquez’s recognition of Manny Pacquiao’s wide skill set is one thing. Having the ability to do something about it something else.
When Pacquiao changes styles, Marquez makes slight but significant adjustments to react. Marquez knows when he has lost the range necessary to outbox Pacquiao. In those instances, Marquez stands with Pacquiao and trades punches. This is when we usually see one of Marquez's huge right straights, his best punch against Pacquiao. That it provides the best action for the fans is just a bonus.
Juan Manuel Marquez Is Fearless
If you fear your opponent, you have lost the fight before it started. Manny Pacquiao has that edge going into many of his fights, but not against Juan Manuel Marquez
When Evander Holyfield upset Mike Tyson, it was because he was willing to stand up to the biggest bully on the block. With his power (knockout percentage of 65), Pacquiao has a similar edge, and in Marquez a similar foil.
Marquez has taken Pacquiao’s best punches and was never afraid of them, even when they put him on the mat. Marquez will continue to fight his fight, regardless of what Pacquiao brings to the table.
Juan Manuel Marquez Has More Stamina
This is rarely an advantage of a Manny Pacquiao opponent, but Juan Manuel Marquez is the exception.
I don’t mean to call out Pacquiao’s legendary workouts or his cardiovascular endurance. It has nothing to do with what Pacquiao puts into a fight in preparation. It is that Marquez is one of the few men that can withstand Pacquiao’s initial onslaught and continue to fight back as the bout goes on.
In both fights, Pacquiao dominated the start of the fight and built a big lead. Pacquiao’s volume punching diminished just enough that Marquez could chip away by winning round after round until eventually we were left with split decisions.
Manny Pacquiao is the most popular boxer in the world, and that aura follows him around the ring. Against Juan Manuel Marquez, the crowd will be split.
Pacquiao is a likable guy. He is soft-spoken and his style is conducive to a fan-friendly action fight. It is not that the spectators at MGM Grand are anti-Pacquiao. It is that all true boxing fans have respect for Marquez and will not root against him. Marquez has been in the game for a long time and has not ducked anyone. He may not win every time, but he always leaves with the respect of his opponent.
Some may say that crowd influence is like home-field advantage in a team sport. I would argue it has more of an influence on a boxer. In a sport where physically you are drained in every way possible, all you have left is your mental fortitude. When you have 50,000 people chanting your name in unison, that has to have a positive impact on you. There were some occasional "Manny" chants in the first two fights, but nothing compared to Pacquiao's usual fanfare.
When Marquez and Pacquiao touch gloves for the 12th and final round and the decision of the scorecards weighs in the balance, Pacquiao will not have the crowd behind him to help summon that little something extra. No, that will come from within the fighters themselves. Whoever does will take the third leg of this incredible trilogy.
Juan Manuel Marquez has only been in one more fight than Manny Pacquiao, so his experience is not an advantage as far as total bouts are concerned.
Two of Marquez's five career losses have come to the best in the business, Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Another one was via disqualification in his first professional fight. Marquez will lace up the gloves for the 60th time as a professional on Saturday night, and in that time span, he has seen it all.
Marquez comes from a boxing family, as his brother was a former champion as well. He has faced Pacquiao twice and is familiar with all his tricks. In case Pac Man pulls another one out of the hat, Marquez will quickly identify it and counter it effectively.