Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) will meet for the fourth time in their professional boxing careers on Dec. 8, and both men are looking for the first decisive win in the rivalry.
The two will collide at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., and it’ll be the first time they meet at 147 pounds.
Officially, Pacquiao’s record against Marquez is 2-0-1, but “Dinamita” feels he was the rightful victor in all three fights. He’s not alone, as many in the boxing community (myself included) also scored all three fights in his favor.
Marquez and Pacquiao have made it clear that they’ll both be looking for a knockout come fight time, but they’ll probably end up reverting to their old stratagems when they finally square up inside the ring. Pacquiao will try to push the action, while Marquez attempts to counterpunch his way to his first official victory against the Filipino congressman.
Marquez’ trainer, Nacho Beristain, isn’t getting caught up in all the talk about knockouts, but he hopes Manny Pacquiao comes out determined to get a stoppage on Saturday.
“We just have to be smart [with our strategy to get the knockout],” Nacho said, per Boxingscene.com. “If Pacquiao wants to come in all wild and reckless, trying to get a knockout, that’s better for us. But we are going to fight smart.”
Given how effective his counterpunching has been in the past against Pacquiao, I expect him to get the better of their exchanges during the fight.
Both men look great heading into their Saturday showdown, but Marquez’ physique is a bit more imposing. “Dinamita” has packed on some extra muscle since their 2011 bout, and he looks stronger than ever.
Manny Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley in his last outing, and he’ll be highly motivated to rebound with a win. Manny can’t afford to lose two fights in a row, so he probably won’t want to leave things in the hands of the judges this time around.
Unfortunately for Pacquiao, that’ll probably end up making things easier for Marquez, who I expect to emerge victorious on Dec. 8.