This Saturday, a trilogy in boxing will come to an end when Manny Pacquiao, 53-3-2, 38 KO’s, takes on Juan Manuel Marquez, 53-5-1, 39 KO’s, with the WBO Welterweight Title hanging in the balance. It will be their third encounter with Pacquiao ahead in the series 1-0-1.
On May 8th, 2004, it began. Pacquiao quickly pounced on Marquez, dropping him three times in the first round, but amazingly, the Mexican warrior, often trying to fight out of the shadows of Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, got to his feet and controlled much of the later action. He was down three times and fought his way to a draw and the two created what many considered to be the fight of the year.
On March 15th, 2008, the two would meet up again. Pacquiao became a bigger and bigger favorite as we got close to the fight due to the incredible amount of popularity and impressive performances. Marquez, once again, held his own and nearly won the fight, losing a questionable 12 round split decision. There was still plenty to argue about and many feel that the series was so close that ANY way that you have it could be right. Marquez, for the record, believes that he is 2-0, and hopes to officially win one this time.
This Saturday, they meet for the third time and Marquez is once again the underdog, but he is the only one in recent times to find a way to control Pacquiao and avoid enduring the damage that the Filipino warrior can bring to his opponent.
Pacquiao has been facing a lot of bigger men lately and that has been viewed as a positive, but it may not be. Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, and Miguel Cotto were bigger, but they didn’t have the technical expertise that Marquez brings. Shane Mosley was an old man in the ring and couldn’t pull the trigger. Marquez can still pull the trigger and is looking for a win and will present a tough puzzle for Manny to solve.
For Marquez, defeating Manny will prove to be the toughest thing that he will ever have to do in boxing. In what many consider to be one of his best performances, he lost a decision to Pacquiao. Can he do more then he did in 2008 to convincingly defeat Pacquiao? He will have to because the odds of him stopping Pacquiao are slim.
This Saturday on HBO PPV, the two will collide on an overall decent card of boxing, which includes the return of Timothy Bradley.