The fact that Floyd Mayweather had an easy night with Juan Manuel Marquez does not necessarily mean that he'd beat Manny Pacquiao because PacMan struggled with Marquez.
They were two completely different match-ups under different circumstances.
I am not in either of the training camps so I cannot really give a strong opinion as to who would win. However, I do think Floyd Mayweather has a slight advantage because of his superior boxing ability. Manny's hand and foot speed would seemingly help him but if he chases Mayweather as he did Marquez, he will fall into traps all night long.
The Filipino Slugger is a very talented fighter with tremendous speed, counterpunching ability, power in both hands, and he moves well. He has a decent jab and has learned to use his feints to set it up. But the real danger is how quick and effective he turns that jab into a lead hook.
The reason Juan Manuel Marquez has given Manny Pacquiao so much trouble is because he knows Manny's strengths and offsets them by leaving a gap which forces Manny to take a step in order to land a punch.
Each time Manny steps forward, Marquez steps with his back leg but stays in position to punch. It's called "fighting off the back leg." When Marquez takes that step with the back leg, he forces Manny to reach with his punches causing him to be off balance.
The shots we saw Marquez hit Pacquiao with were due to Pacquiao reaching with his punches and falling off balance. Another strength that Marquez has is he always counters with three to four punch combinations. He trains to do it and it pays off.
For Manny to be successful against Marquez, he will have to box effectively. The Filipino's hand and foot speed has enabled him to knock Marquez down four times in their first two bouts so he has the ability to put JMM down yet still falls into the trap of chasing Marquez.
Manny Pacquiao is going to have to move his feet and use a lot of feints to land effective shots. However, Pacquiao is not a natural boxer. He has learned to box better over the years with Roach, but we have to remember that he was already a world champion when he started with Freddie.
Video: Will Manny Pacquiao have an answer for Juan Manuel Marquez's alleged foot-stomping?
Once a fighter develops to a certain point, it is very difficult to implement new assets to their game. Between the two of them, Manny has developed his abilities in many areas and we have seen the results of the work they have done.
When Pacquiao was a bantamweight, all he possessed was a big left hand. Now we see him dominating and knocking out world class opponents with his right hand... Not to mention his improved counter-punching ability and overall movement and footwork, both qualities he has recently developed under Roach.
The problem comes when Manny has trouble finding his opponents with his punches. This is when we see him get anxious and start reaching. He reverts back to chasing opponents with the jab-left hand that he relied on before he met Freddie. If he can hit his opponent, he can win easy (as we saw with De La Hoya, Hatton, Clottey, and Margarito just to name a few).
In the three Marquez fights, Marquez has learned how to keep Manny off balance by using his back leg. Of course Manny has the explosiveness to catch Marquez with a big shot in one of their exchanges and change the tempo of the fight.
You can never count Manny out. He's fast, strong, and always in excellent condition. But at the end of the day, I don't see him out-thinking Marquez though as the Mexican always seems to be a step ahead of him.
Look for Pacquiao-Marquez IV to be very similar to their third fight.
Marquez has learned how to beat this guy but can Pacquiao catch him and score the illusive knockout he and Roach have been looking for in the last three fights?
Answer: Of course.
Manny's speed and power is dangerous for anybody. But I still see Marquez setting the tempo and controlling the fight.
Will Marquez get a decision? Will PacMan ultimately knockout Marquez?
As we saw with Pacquiao-Bradley, the pronounced winner and the real winner can be two completely different fighters.
At the end of the day, we will get to see a competitive and action filled fight between two future Hall of Famers. Boxing fans should be excited to see this fight again. I know I am.
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez II Facts and Stats
- Date: March 15, 2008
- Location: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Division: Featherweight
- Champion: Juan Manuel Marquez (WBC)
- Result: Pacquiao wins via split decision
- Official scores: 115-112 and 114-113 for Manny Pacquiao, 115-112 for Juan Manuel Marquez
- Pacquiao stunned in Round 2
- Marquez down in Round 3
- Marquez wobbled in Round 10
- Marquez outlanded Pacquiao 172-157 overall, and in powershots, 130-114
- HBO PPV Executive Mark Taffet reported that this fight generated a record 400,000 buys representing $20.2 million in sales. The results were the most for any pay-per-view telecast at a weight below welterweight in boxing history. This has since been surpassed by the 850,000 buys generated by Pacquiao's junior welterweight bout with Ricky Hatton on May 2, 2009.
- Round-by-round punch statistics showed that Pacquiao out-landed Marquez in 6 rounds, Marquez out-landed Pacquiao in 5 rounds, and the two landed evenly in one round--Round 3, the round in which Pacquiao sent Marquez to the canvas.
Video: Chris Robinson and other media members speak with trainer Freddie Roach during a round table-style discussion at the Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada. Roach speaks on Manny Pacquiao's chances agasinst Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time.