Manny Pacquiao will enter the ring tonight at 9 p.m. EST to fight Juan Manuel Marquez, and his goal should be to not only win the fight—but do so convincingly.
Pac-Man has already beaten him, and the win came when Marquez was 34 years old. Marquez is now 38, so a 32-year-old Pacquiao should have little problem repeating the win from 2008.
However, Pacquiao’s split-decision victory did not provide the closure Pacquiao or Marquez needed in this rivalry.
Here are three things Pacquiao must focus on to claim a decisive victory tonight.
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Did your heart skip a beat when you heard the news?
If so, you’re putting too much trust into the spoken word of “Money.” Mayweather would do anything to bring his name into the news.
Yes, boxing is about self-promotion. Are you surprised?
Pac-Man has to keep this far from his mind during tonight’s fight. The thought that a loss tonight could derail the fight plans can’t cross his mind, or it will add extra pressure.
The only opponent who Pacquiao needs to worry about tonight is Marquez.
Once the opening bell sounds, Pacquiao should be like a thoroughbred horse racing toward the front.
In both previous fights, Pacquiao has knocked Marquez to the mat in the first round. Marquez is a slow starter, so Pac-Man’s best shots should be taken in the early rounds.
Like I said, Pacquiao needs to win convincingly, and getting behind early will not help the chances of that. In fact, the Filipino boxer’s previous four fights have gone the distance.
Against Marquez, he needs to avoid coasting and establish his dominance throughout the first half of the fight.
Pacquiao is the WBO World Welterweight title-holder, meaning he's more than just qualified to fight in the division.
Knowing Marquez is bigger can be used to Pacquiao’s advantage, as he should exploit Marquez for slowing down.
Pacquiao needs to be a rapid-fire puncher that waits for a good look to bring the big left hook. The worst thing he could do is give Marquez an opportunity to knock him down, because that will just drench Marquez with confidence.
You don’t want to give any boxer added confidence.
Pac-Man should carry his 1-0-1 record against Marquez around with pride, and make sure Marquez is sweating over the fact that he’s never beat him.