Three fights, thirty-six rounds, 108 minutes and eight years have elapsed since Pacquiao vs Marquez I and there's still between these two future hall of famers.
Will Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 be any different from the rest?
While there is plenty of controversy to point at, there is not denying that once they enter the ring, action will be fast and furious.
Between Pacquiao's athleticism and Marquez's skill, there is a constant supply of furious exchanges and displays of style contrast. This fourth fight is going to provide more of the same, however not everything has remained stagnant since their last meeting in November of 2011.
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 Preview
Manny Pacquiao is more or less the same. He is still fast, bounces quickly and easily on his feet, and delivers heavy, snapping punches on the mitts. However, since their third meeting, Manny Pacquiao has the first official loss on his record since Erik Morales in 2005.
While this loss to Timothy Bradley is actually a win to most objective observers, what cannot be denied was that Pacquiao was outworked down the stretch of the championship rounds, something that would not been unimaginable in 2009.
Just nine days from 34, Pacquiao is not the same fighter physically he was in 2009 when he blew away Ricky Hatton in two rounds and looked like a cyborg against Miguel Cotto. However, it is mostly the change in opponents that has made Pacquiao look more ordinary in his last two fights. Both Marquez and Bradley are moving targets who use the ring and utilize hand-speed and combinations in exchanges. With a committed puncher like Pacquiao who also boxes with a very frantic temperament, this can lead to a lot of hesitation and off balance lunging to greatly diminish his offensive effectiveness.
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 Fight Poster
Juan Manuel Marquez has looked stronger in the past year, and his added strength training looks to have translated very well to his boxing. He is throwing more fluid combinations that carry a louder snap on the pads, and his upper body movement appears to have less tension in his training camp.
While he too has slowed down in the past few years, with more bulk added to his shoulders and arms, he seems to be handling his added weight better in this camp versus the past. And at age 39, he appears reborn compared to the shaky performance he gave against Michael Katsidis in 2010.
Despite stopping his opponent, he was knocked down and hurt early, showing wear and tear in his legs from a long career and many difficult fights.
With his strong, fundamental skill-set, coupled with the conditioning regime from strength coach Angel Heredia Hernandez, Marquez may have solved the problem that has snatched wins from him in the past - his lack of significant punching power north of featherweight.
As Jack Dempsey said, "Punchers are made and not born."
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 will not be very different from their third bout. Marquez will sit in his pocket and wait for Pacquiao to lunge and juke, utilizing feints and circling the ring to keep the Filipino from pulling the trigger. Pacquiao, when faced with an elusive target, will continue to try his double jab straight left, resulting in him falling on top of Marquez as the Mexican dips down to his right to avoid these shots.
Marquez leaves his head in the middle and dips down to his left when throwing left uppercuts to the body. This will leave him vulnerable to Pacquiao's quick lead lefts and his right hook that he uses to time his opponents. It was also the reason for Marquez lost to Pacquiao in their second fight. He dipped down to throw a left hook to the body as Pacquiao came over the top with his own short left hand onto the Mexican's jaw, flooring the Mexican.
Marquez will have to be wary of this mistake and avoid flash knockdowns which could again make the difference if the fight goes to the scorecards.
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 Prediction
It is the older Marquez who has the advantage here.
An analogy can be made to the tortoise and the hare. Manny Pacquiao is the hare who can gain an early advantage with his athleticism, but Marquez will invest in the body punches, shoot straight rights between Pacquiao's guard, and reserve more energy if this fight reaches the championship rounds because of his far more efficient style.
Pacquiao will be worn down not just physically, but also psychologically, since Marquez has shown an ability in all three of their previous bouts to control the pace and cool down the fiery Filipino's punch volume. As the bout moves on, the patient Marquez with his improved strength will catch Pacquiao napping, and is very likely to hurt him with clean punches to the chin.
Pacquiao is always dangerous with his speed, power, and off balance shots, but Marquez has already shown that he can take Pacquiao's best firepower, adjust, and fight through it.
Pacquiao has yet to prove he can force Marquez out of his own comfort zone for longer than a round.As a result, Juan Manuel Marquez will outbox, and maybe outpunch Manny Pacquiao to a comfortable decision victory.
And lastly, neither man stands a legitimate chance at defeating Floyd Mayweather Jr so let's please stop talking about those potential matchups for good.
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 Trailer