by Kieran Mulvaney
Officially, Manny Pacquiao has won two of his three meetings with Juan Manuel Marquez, and Marquez has won none. But there are plenty of different opinions over who “really’ should have won their previous fights, and there are plenty of different opinions over who will win their fourth one. We hit the phone and patrolled the media room at the MGM Grand to gather the predictions of some fighters and writers.
Robert Guerrero, welterweight titlist
I like Marquez by decision. I think it’s going to be a lot like the last fight, I just think the determination that Marquez has to pull out a win will be the difference. He knows he has to pull it off big to get the win, and he looks in great shape. In the last fight, his trainer told him to ease off at the end; this time, he’ll have that pedal to the metal all the way.
Lem Satterfield, RingTV.com
I think it’s going to be Marquez by decision. I think the element of the two new judges, who last week scored a fight for Austin Trout (against Miguel Cotto) on what is basically Miguel Cotto’s home turf, gives me the perception that they’re going to come in here with a balanced view of the fight. This tells me that if Marquez fights as well as he did last time – given that the majority of the media and everyone else who saw the fight thought that he won – he has a good chance.
Ron Borges, Boston Herald
I like Marquez by decision. I think if you put them side-by-side-by-side-by-side, if that’s enough sides, the previous fights all sort of look alike. If you take the previous 36 rounds and put them in a pot, you get a draw. Move a point around here and there, and Marquez is 2-0-1 instead of 0-2-1. I don’t see any way it can go any differently.
Robert Garcia, former junior lightweight champion and current Trainer of the Year
I think we’re going to have a great fight. A lot of people think a fourth fight is already too much. I think we could have five and six and we’re always going to want to watch it because they always bring out the best in each other. The fights are always so close and I think we’re going to see another close fight. It could go either way.
Rich Marotta, KFI Radio Los Angeles
I’m taking Marquez by decision. I think the fight will be fairly similar to the first three fights. I’ve picked Juan Manuel Marquez three times, and I thought that he’s won three times. I’ve scored all the fights for him on my personal scorecard, and I don’t see any reason to go any different. I think that’s how he’ll fight tomorrow night. He might be a little bit more aggressive, but I think it’ll be a close fight but I think that Marquez’ style just confounds Pacquiao.
Joe Saraceno, USA Today
I’ll take Pacquiao by late rounds stoppage. Marquez is bigger and has more armor on him, and I think that might slow him down. I think they might end up exchanging, and I think Manny might get the better of it. I know Manny’s very serious for the fight, more than perhaps he has been for some recent fights.
Brandon Rios, junior welterweight titlist
It’s going to be a great fight, a really close fight, but I think Pacquiao will win by split decision. I see knockdowns because they’re both predicting knockouts, so it should be a good fight.
Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
I see a fight that is very similar to the last one. And I’m taking Pacquiao by decision.
Ryan Songalia, BoxingScene.com
I think we’re going to have a fight that looks a lot like the first three. My issue is wondering whether Manny is still a hungry fighter. I think it was Joe Louis who said, ‘It’s hard to get up and go running in the morning when you’re wearing silk pajamas.’ Manny has silk pajamas with diamonds in them. I hope it doesn’t look like an older man’s fight, with both fighters throwing a lot less punches – although I think Marquez will throw fewer punches anyway because he’s bulked up. Until they get in the ring we’re talking out our asses anyway, right? But I’m going with Manny by majority decision.
Norm Frauenheim, 15Rounds.com
I’ll pick it as a draw. A lot of people think that would be terrible for the sport of boxing, but I’m not convinced of that, because I think it will cause a lot of debate and who knows? Maybe we see a fifth fight. Maybe we need a best of seven series. I think one of the issues with Pacquiao – and I do believe he’s more engaged with this fight – is that as he’s gone up in weight, he’s lost some power. I don’t believe he can knock Marquez out.
Tris Dixon, Boxing News
I’ve got three schools of thoughts on this, actually. The first is that it’s going to be real nip-and-tuck like the other three, that it’s going to go down to the wire and could go either way. The second is that Manny just had a bad night at the office the last time they met, and he is actually bigger and stronger and can just wipe out Marquez. And the third is that now Marquez has his strength and conditioning on message, that he could actually be far bigger and stronger than Manny on the night. I’m more inclined to go with the styles-make-fights thing, which is option number one. So I think it will go nip-and-tuck, and I think the judges will be crucial on the night, as they often are in Vegas, and I think they could vote for Marquez.