Saturday, March 15, 2008

Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez II: Unfinished Business


Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao will meet for the second time tonight in a fight aptly titled “Unfinished Business” for Marquez' WBC Super Featherweight title. It has been almost four years since their first fight at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 8, 2004, a fight that ended in a controversial draw. Marquez has to be thinking, but for that first round, he would have won that fight. That is going to be the key to Marquez winning this fight tonight. Don’t get caught early and box. He has already proven he can do it.

Pacquiao has been on a roll no doubt, but Marquez has been on somewhat of a roll himself. Since his fight with Pacquiao , Marquez has fought seven times, losing one decision to Chris Johns, and beating both Rocky Juarez and Marco Antonio Barrera. He is a skilled boxer that has shown a willingness to mix it up. I think he is going to take that momentum into the fight tonight and win decision over Pacquiao.

On the other hand, I have nothing but respect for Pacquiao. He has shown a Duran like (when Duran was Duran) intensity in all of his fights and has had an incredible career, but he is not unbeatable, Erik Morales showed that in their first fight of their trilogy. Pacquiao beat Marco Antonio Barrera in his last fight but was not as impressive as he was in their first fight. Still it is hard to bet against him, and not just because of the great fights, but because he has shown fight fans an incredible heart both in and out of the ring and has proven to be a likable, decent human being, but nothing last forever, especially a fighter’s run at the top. It didn’t last for Julio Cesar Chavez, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray (both of them) or anyone else for that matter (Well okay, Rocky Marciano). Sooner or later they run into their conquerer. It is inevitable.

My pick has more to do with timing that anything else. I happen to think that Pacquiao is ripe for the picking right now. Both Freddie Roach and Bob Arum have mentioned his lack of focus. They brought him back to California to keep him focused, but I don’t know, you can’t force someone to focus. I’ll stand with my pick but whenever two decent men step into the ring then the decent thing to say is “May the best man win”.

They meet tonight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The fight will be shown on HBO. Follow this link to see a video of their first fight.

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