On Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao will face off with his bitter rival Juan Manuel Marquez for the third and final time.
And, chances are, this fight is going to be epic.
As the two competitors get set for their bout, which can be live streamed at Top Rank TV for $54.99, there are a lot of signs that this will be the Fight of the Year.
First off, Marquez, who holds a 53-5-1 record with 39 knockouts, has arguably been Pacquiao's greatest foe throughout the years. While he's never defeated the great Filipino, he's fought Pacquiao to the bitter end in their first two fights, which have ended in a draw and a split-decision.
What makes Marquez so intriguing a matchup for Pacquiao is he's one of the best counter-punchers in the sport. Given Pacquiao's aggressive fighting style, Marquez has demonstrated time and time again that he can disrupt the Filipino's rhythm with some big knock-back counter-punches.
On top of that, Marquez has beefed up leading up to the fight and looks as strong as he ever has. Of course, that could backfire, as he may not be as quick against the lightning-fast Pacquiao.
Both encounters have been very close to call, and there are some who believe Marquez won at least one of those fights.
Still, Pacquiao has only gotten better as he's aged and has now developed a solid counter-punching game as well. He's the most complete fighter he's ever been and I honestly believe no one, not even Floyd Mayweather Jr., can beat him at this stage in his career.
I expect the fight to go to decision again, but Pacquiao will win a couple more rounds and come away with the victory.
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