What Do Pacquiao & Marquez Do Next?

By Eric Raskin

Photo Credits: Will HartThe fight ended. The decision was read. And then the questions started flying.

Boxing fans have eternal reverence for the sport’s past, but there’s nothing they love more than fantasizing about the future. Within moments of any major fight ending, the attention shifts immediately to those two little words: “What’s next?”

Nobody knows yet what’s next for Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez following their controversial 12-rounder on Saturday night at the MGM Grand. Both men deserve a vacation, and neither is likely to sign any contracts or make any announcements before the year is out. But we have some preliminary thoughts on what might be on each fighter’s radar:

MANNY PACQUIAO

1. Marquez again: Freddie Roach said after his man had his hand raised amidst a storm of boos that as reluctant as he is to try a fourth time to solve the Marquez puzzle, he feels a certain obligation to do just that. Despite going 2-0-1 against Marquez, Pacquiao still hasn’t beaten him convincingly. He has plenty to prove in a fourth fight. And you know for damned sure that it isn’t going to be boring.

2. Floyd Mayweather: Yes, Pacquiao-Mayweather lost some luster on Saturday, and no, it no longer feels to the general public like a pick-’em fight. But it’s still probably twice as big financially as any other bout in boxing. There is incentive to get it done. The question is whether Pacquiao and his people now feel, as most of the public does, that it’s a fight he’d likely lose.

3. Timothy Bradley: The undefeated junior welterweight belt-holder doesn’t bring the cachet of Mayweather or Marquez, but he’s respected throughout boxing and was being lined up as a possible spring opponent for Pacquiao if the Marquez result had been more definitive. He’s still out there as a Plan B if for some reason neither of the two Plan A’s work out.

4. James Kirkland: If the goal is to get Pacquiao’s momentum back on track, then Kirkland just might be the perfect opponent. The Texas slugger is red hot after a stirring win over Alfredo Angulo, and he’s a bigger, slower fighter, just like the recent opponents against whom Pacquiao could do no wrong. There will be some who fall into the “Kirkland is too big and strong” trap, putting Pacquiao in position to prove them wrong and dazzle them in a way he couldn’t against Marquez.

JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ

1. Pacquiao again: Marquez wondered aloud after Saturday’s fight whether there’s anything he can do to win over the judges against Pacquiao, and he has every right to be frustrated. But if a lucrative fourth opportunity to get that elusive win over the biggest star of his era comes along, how is Marquez going to say no?

2. Erik Morales: In this era’s equivalent to the Leonard-Hagler-Hearns-Duran rivalry of the ’80s, Pacquiao has fought Marquez three times, Morales three times, and Marco Antonio Barrera twice, while Barrera has fought Morales three times and Marquez once. The only matchup missing is Marquez vs. Morales. “El Terrible” isn’t as close to his prime as Marquez is. But his 2011 career comeback showed he’s closer than most people thought, and that might be good enough to make the fight viable.

3. Brandon Rios: Marquez is still the lineal lightweight champion of the world, so if he can get his bulked-up body back down to 135 pounds, he has a title to defend. Can anyone think of a more thrilling lightweight matchup than Marquez vs. Rios? It could either be a classic passing of the torch from one Hispanic hero to another or a riveting example of a legend staving off Father Time. Either way, it’s impossible to envision anything short of a Fight of the Year candidate.

4. Retirement: It was Marquez himself who used the “r” word (technically, “retirada”) at the postfight press conference. He appears to be financially set after Saturday’s $5-million guaranteed purse, and if he never fights again, he goes out on a sympathetic high note. Clearly, he’s still capable of competing at a pound-for-pound level, so walking away won’t be easy. But Marquez defied conventional wisdom with his performance in the third fight with Pacquiao. Maybe he’ll defy it again as his final boxing act.

PunchStat Report: Pacquiao MD 12 Marquez

By CompuBox

Pacquiao had just a 117-100 edge in power shots landed, while Marquez landed the cleaner shots. Pac was busier, averaging 49 punches thrown per round to 36 per round for Marquez.

Another Collision, Another Controversy For Pacquiao And Marquez

By Eric Raskin

Photo Credit: Will Hart

After a draw in their first fight and a split decision for Pacquiao in their second, the third battle produced a majority decision for Pacquiao that left Marquez as bitter as ever.

Back and forth action? Check. Rounds that could go either way? Check. A controversial decision at the end of 12 rounds? Check. Sounds like a Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight to us.

The Pacquiao-Marquez III Fight Week Flurry

By Eric Raskin

Relive fight week with our exclusive on-the-ground videos.

Most major fights are preceded by about three months’ worth of buildup. Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III has been building toward a crescendo for more than three years. Naturally, the anticipation is highest during the final week of the process, so here’s a comprehensive roundup of Pacquiao-Marquez III fight week:

The seeds for this fight were planted in two classic battles that remain hotly debated to this day, forcing Pacquiao and Marquez to go the full trilogy route in order to settle matters. Pacquiao has had extraordinary success throughout his career against elite Mexican fighters, but Marquez is different. He has the skills and style to bother Pacquiao like nobody else has been able to, and there’s no questioning Marquez’s heart and determination.

Still, there are many who see Pacquiao having certain edges this time around that he didn’t have in 2004 or 2008. For one, he’s grown comfortable weighing more than 140 pounds and Marquez hasn’t yet, as the tale of the scale from their last several fights shows. The CompuBox numbers were awfully close in the first two fights and, if anything, might have favored Marquez, but there are questions as to whether Marquez can duplicate those numbers at age 38 and weighing 142 pounds.

The strategy behind this fight is fascinating, and experts and fans alike have spoken up with their opinions. You have to respect the expertise of Hall of Fame trainer and manager Emanuel Steward, who put a spotlight on three keys to the fight for each man. Trainers Freddie Roach and Nacho Beristain also had their say on strategic elements to look for. Former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones offered his take, and HBO.com writers Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney crunched the numbers and weighed in as well. And if you want the ultimate insights, go to guys who’ve been in the ring and experienced the greatness of Pacquiao first-hand. David Diaz offered a revealing, extremely honest take on how it feels to fight the Filipino icon, while Sports Illustrated spoke with Pac-Man’s sparring partners about the experience.

Beyond the punches and parries, there are the personalities. We welcomed Pacquiao and Marquez into our living rooms the past month on 24/7. At the final press conference, we witnessed the professionalism and respect these warriors share. There’s no denying that Pacquiao’s fans are out in force and loving him more than ever, and they’ve taken to Twitter to express themselves. @edrosa is ready for a party at the MGM Grand, @Jamike007 thinks Manny holds key advantages over Marquez, and @wilriv doesn’t think there’s anything Marquez can do to avoid defeat. But an upset is always possible, and @stephenmcelrone isn’t counting Marquez out.

Still have some link-clicking left in your fingers? There’s more to this pay-per-view than just the main event, with three undercard fights putting undefeated records on the line. If you’d rather focus on the main event and happen to have a short attention span, you can get the whole story in 59 seconds. And if you lean the other way and want to spend hours reading more and more about tonight’s showdown, the outstanding The Queensberry Rules boxing blog supplements all of the links here with even more links!

So cram in all the great writing and videos while you still can, because that first bell is about to ring …

 

Amir Khan Sees the Lighter Side of Vegas

By Kieren Mulvaney

Photo Credit: Will Hart

Amir Khan realized something this week: Fight week in Las Vegas can be fun. 

That's something that's normally lost on the fighters themselves, but this time, instead of trying to make weight and prepare to face the likes of Marcos Maidana or Zab Judah, Khan is in town to commentate on tonight's fight for British television, and provide support as needed for his stable mate Manny Pacquiao.  

“I think it's brilliant to just come to Las Vegas and enjoy yourself,” said Khan, echoing the sentiments of millions of vacationers before him. And while he isn't exactly the kind to walk along the Strip with a yard of margarita around his neck, he has been able to soak up the atmosphere in a more relaxed way than is normally the case. 

“Manny Pacquiao's the one who's fighting, so all the pressure's off me, I can just train [for his December 10 HBO World Championship Boxing bout with Lamont Peterson], be myself, enjoy it all, walking around like a fan, enjoying the press conferences and the weigh-in,” he explained. “Normally I'm stuck in my room and can't really do anything, this time I can get out a little bit and chill out. I can do what I want, eat what I want, go to sleep when I want.” 

Like Pacquiao, Khan is trained by Freddie Roach and has been a part of a number of the Filipino's training camps; given the destruction Pacquiao has visited on the likes of Antonio Margarito in recent bouts, it's almost discomfiting to hear Khan offer that the way he trained for those bouts was nothing compared to the intensity he has shown for tonight's clash with Juan Manuel Marquez. 

“I've seen a big difference with how he's trained for this fight and how he's trained for other fights in the past,” he said. “Manny's very focused for this fight. I think he wants to do a job on Marquez. He wants to put the record straight by going in there, knocking Marquez out this time and just settling the score really.” 

The previous two fights between Pacquiao and Marquez were nip-and-tuck, close-fought affairs that ended in razor-thin decisions. But that was then and this is now, and Khan is convinced that Marquez will be facing a much improved, and radically different, opponent than the one he fought in 2004 and 2008. 

“This version of Manny is different: Muscular, strong, bigger, harder-hitting, and still as quick,” he said. “But Marquez, as he has put size on, he's gotten slower. And in his last few fights he's been dropped a lot - by [Floyd] Mayweather, by [Michael] Katsidis - so he falls to the floor. And Manny has a lot more power than Mayweather and Katsidis, so I'm sure he's going to hurt him. I really think it'll be a stoppage in mid-rounds.” 

The Most Revealing Moments From 24/7

By Eric Raskin

This was not the first dance with the 24/7 cameras for either Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez. But no matter how well fans think they know these great fighters, there’s always something new to learn. Here are our selections for the most revealing moments from each episode of 24/7: Pacquiao-Marquez:


Episode 4: Some Bonds Are Unbreakable
Sometimes the word “family” refers to blood relatives, sometimes not. Two parallel moments from this episode showed the connections between these fighters and their loved ones: first, Marquez’s youngest son saying, as his dad prepared to leave for Las Vegas, “Everything will be okay.” Then, trainer Freddie Roach saying of his fighter, “I would die for Manny Pacquiao.” There is a softer side to the fight game, and it was revealed in these personal, powerful moments.


Episode 3: A Meteoric Rise Is Shared
Roach says he would die for Pacquiao. Well, the rest of Pac-Man’s friends and assistants will at least ink themselves up for him. We saw assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez getting his first tattoo, a flaming meteor on the inside of his left arm to match that of his boss and several other members of the camp. Now let’s see if Buboy takes the next step and gets Manny’s wife and kids’ names on his left shoulder.

Episode 2: No Diet Plan Lasts Forever
In arguably the most talked-about scene in 24/7 history, while preparing for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, Marquez revealed the unusual training habit of drinking his own urine. Entering the Pacquiao fight, the boxing world was dying to know: Is Marquez still digesting everything twice? In the most memorable voiceover 24/7 has ever given us, our answer was revealed: “He no longer drinks his own urine.” It’s a surreally spectacular line, made even better by the soothing sounds of Liev Schreiber’s voice.

Episode 1: Camraderie Is Thicker Than Blood
Pacquiao’s gym-mate Jorge Linares didn’t just lose to Antonio DeMarco in October. He suffered one of the bloodiest defeats we’ve ever seen. It was tough to watch—especially if you care about Linares personally, as Pacquiao does. But Pacquiao revealed the kind of man he is by going to Jorge’s dressing room afterward, consoling him, and not hesitating to offer a hug, even if his nice white shirt would certainly have to go in the trash afterwards.

Pacquaio-Marquez III: Inside the Numbers

By CompuBox


  • In their first two fights combined, Marquez has outlanded Pacquiao 330-305 in total punches and 252 to 214 in power punches.
  • In the first fight, Marquez landed 158 of 547 (29%-46 thrown per round) in the first fight, to 148 of 639 (23%-53 thrown per round) for Pac. 
  • In the first fight, Marquez had a 122-100 edge in power shots landed, hitting on 122 of 339 (36%) to 100 of 231 (43%) for Manny. 
  • In the rematch, Marquez landed 172 of 511 total punches (34%- 43 thrown per round) to 157 of 619 (25%-52 thrown per round) for Manny. 
  • In the rematch, Marquez had a 130-114 edge in power shots landed, hitting on 130 of 310 (42%) to 114 of 305 (37%) for Pac. 
  • In the rematch, Marquez improved his overall connect pct. by 5% and his power conn. pct. by 6% in the rematch. 
  • In the rematch, Manny improved 2% overall and dropped 6% in power connects. 
  • In both fights combined, Marquez landed more total punches in 12 rounds, to nine for Manny, with three even
  • Marquez posted the most lopsided rounds in total punches landed.  He outlanded Manny 16-5 in round six of first fight and 21-5 in round eight of the rematch.   Marquez outlanded Manny 13-1 in power punches in round six of the first fight.
  • Manny’s most dominant round was round two of the first fight when he outlanded Marquez 18-8 in total punches. 
  • In between their first fight and rematch, Pacquiao was 7-1, with 5 ko’s, while Marquez went 6-1, 2 ko’s.
  • Since the rematch, Pac is 7-0, 4 ko’s – Marquez 5-1, 4 ko’s
  • Combined records of Pacquiao’s opponents since rematch: 271-23-2 (92% win pct.); Marquez’s opponents: 195-12-1 (94% win pct.)
  • Since rematch, Pacquiao has outlanded his last seven opponents 1807-766 in total punches.  Pac’s avg’d 79 punches thrown per round and 27 landed.  He landed 48% of his power shots- an avg. of 23 per round, nearly double the welter avg. (13)
  • Since rematch, Pac’s opponents landed just 11 punches per round.  Welter avg. is 19 landed per round. 
  • In his last five fights (at 135 lbs-plus), Marquez landed 50% of his power punches, while averaging 61 punches thrown per round/26 landed
  • Marquez avg’d 47 punches thrown per round, 16 landed in his nine fights at featherweight (not including first Pacquiao fight)
  • Most Total Punches Landed in a Fight vs. Pacquiao: 265- Erik Morales (first fight) 
  • Most Total Punches Landed in a Round vs. Pacquiao: 34- Antonio Margarito, round 8
  • Most Power Punches Landed in a Round vs. Pacquiao: 29- Antonio Margarito, round 8
  • Most Total Punches Landed in a Fight vs. Marquez: 290- Floyd Mayweather
  • Most Total Punches Landed in a Round vs. Marquez: 42- Manuel Medina, round 4 (23 were jabs)
  • Most Power Punches Landed in a Round vs. Marquez: 32 – Michael Katsidis,  round 7

Pacquiao and Marquez Just One Pound Apart

By Eric Raskin

Photo Credit: Will Hart

The poundage is the same. The composition is different. The debate is just beginning.

Juan Manuel Marquez scaled 142 pounds in front of a capacity crowd of more than 5,000 fans at Friday’s weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the exact same number he hit for his disappointing defeat to Floyd Mayweather two years ago. But for that weigh-in, the words of Paul Simon echoed in our heads: “Why am I so soft in the middle now?” For Saturday’s bout with Manny Pacquiao, Marquez is not a soft 142. He’s a more muscular 142, thick up and down his torso.

Unquestionably, the lightweight champion found a better way to bulk up. But the question remains: Should he have bulked up at all?

Pacquiao weighed 143 pounds (his lightest weight in five fights), thinner above the waist than Marquez but with thighs and calves as well-suited for the Preakness as for the prize ring. Officially, the two fighters are separated by just a pound. And neither man is likely to rehydrate and blow up to a markedly different weight overnight. There is no real size difference between Pacquiao and Marquez.

There are many, however, who believe Marquez would have been better off allowing there to be a size difference. His best work in recent years has been done at 135 pounds or below. Added bulk might give Marquez’s punches added impact, and it might allow him to absorb Pacquiao’s power better. But it also might hamper his speed, his elusiveness, his agility. Marquez could have conceded weight in order to ensure that he would be able to make Pacquiao miss and then counterpunch quickly. Maybe he’ll be as quick as ever on Saturday night, having added weight “the right way.” If not, his decision to try to go pound for pound against the pound-for-pound king will be debated long after the final punch is thrown.

One thing is beyond debate: The crowd is behind Pacquiao. Throughout the undercard weigh-in, fans chanted “Man-ny! Man-ny!” and held up Filipino flags and homemade posters, most of them decorated with a certain chomping yellow video game character. The boos drowned out the cheers when Marquez was introduced; the reverse was true a moment later when Pacquiao stepped through the black curtain. And Pacquiao appeared genuinely humbled and touched by the show of support, a “this never gets old” look spreading across his face.

HBO broadcast the weigh-in live (a first), and commentator Max Kellerman asked Pacquiao as they stood on the stage what he liked most about the experience. “I like the fans screaming,” Pacquiao replied.

Look for the screams to get even louder the next time Pacquiao and Marquez go face to face.

With regard to the pay-per-view undercard, five of the six fighters weighed in without incident. Juan Carlos Burgos tipped the scales at 129 pounds, Luis Cruz at 130. Mike Alvarado and Breidis Prescott were each 140 pounds. And Timothy Bradley and his mind-boggling abdominal muscles were on the junior welterweight limit of 140. But Bradley’s opponent, Joel Casamayor, stripped all the way down and still came in one pound over. So it was off to the sauna to try to sweat off another 16 ounces, which he did successfully, balancing the beam at 140 about one hour later.

Fight Week by the Numbers

Find out exactly what it takes to make fight week happen.

Roy Jones Answers Your Questions

Legendary fighter and HBO boxing analyst Roy Jones Jr. responds to fan questions from Twitter. See what his favorite weight class was to fight in, whether he thinks Marquez has the chin to deal with a bigger Pacquaio, and who he thinks has the more dangerous right hook.