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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.