Tag Archives: Pacquiao

Macau Manny Pacquiao On The Road To Brandon Rios

Venetian Resort in Macao on November 23rd will be the hottest place to be to be in Asia when the biggest international boxing match in Chinese history hits those shores, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines vs Brandon Rios of the US of A.

Bob Arum of Top Rank has been testing the shores of Macao since he signed Chinese gold medalist Zou Shiming straight out of the 2012 Olympic Games. Shiming will help shore up the Pacquiao/Rios undercard with his 3rd straight bout in Macao this year. With both Pacquiao and Rios coming off notable losses that might take the shine off a Vegas PPV promotion, the perfect moment to introduce the big fight climate into Macao has finally arrived.

On The Road..

On The Road..

The idea is a type of low cost PPV off the Chinese internet that Arum says has the biggest potential with an Asian population in the billions. Presumably HBO will be still broadcasting in an American PPV format, so we’ll see how the figures are split if and when they release them.

It should be noted that even going against a diminished version Pacquiao for this fight, Rios is making a quantum leap up the big fight scale, not to mention the internationally exotic venue being beyond his wildest dreams. What Rios has going for him is a straight ahead physical style, so there is precious little boxing nuance to freeze up as might happen with a more complex style and personality in such a big fight. Rios likely knows how to box better than he shows, but why bother with such frilly notions when power on top of even more power has been all that he has needed to get him to this point, 31-1-1, 23 KO with a world title belt for a trophy? He’s also the bigger, stronger fighter in spite of moving up another weight class for the Pacquiao fight, 161 lbs in fighting trim for his rematch against Mike Alvarado, so he has to be feeling good about his chances to be even a bigger fighter against a smaller opponent in Pacquiao, not that I am suggesting his team might be overlooking Pacquiao.

Quite the contrary in that Rios will be able to spend more time in actual physical fight preparation than any other camp since he won’t have to waste precious resources losing unnatural weight as happened too many times in previous camps. Rios has earned hot blasts of criticisms from looking like death warmed over at the weighin before subsequent poor fight performances, but has been in training an incredible 5 months for this fight. That’s one thing Pacquiao has done for boxing competitiveness, giving fighters plenty of time to whip themselves into all time good shape compared to some other top fighters who’s opponents are often given short notice.

Team Pacquiao couldn’t have picked a more dangerous opponent for Manny’s return from the death punch knockout loss of the century against Juan Manuel Marquez.  Rios is prime aged at 27 years and been brought up old school hard by one of the premiere trainers in boxing, Robert Garcia. He vaults into the stratosphere of boxing with a dynamic win here, and even with a hard fought loss he still wins. He always comes out swinging to let the chips fall where they may anyway, but perhaps that much harder now that he has a sniff at a big time boxing purse.

If any added intrigue is needed, Pacquiao’s longtime physical trainer Alex Ariza fell out with team Pacquiao after the devastating Marquez loss. Pacquiao looked spectacular in that fight but for what in tennis is termed a foot fault, having the mortally wounded Marquez lined up for the knockout before jumping in with his lead right foot landing on the Marquez lead left foot. The penalty in tennis is the automatic loss of the serve, but in boxing the consequences can be much more severe even if nominal foot faults played out a dozen times in their past fights. This time Marquez was well balanced with his back to the ropes. Pacquiao’s sudden loss of balance with momentum changes left him stooped over, his entire noggin being exposed for the Marquez counter right hand that exploded with all time great effect behind the ear.

Ariza quickly took up an opportune offer from the “enemy camp” to rework Brandon Rios who is changing up after an ill advised stint with disgraced BALCO figure Victor Conte. It goes without saying that Ariza knows all of Pacquiao’s weak spots, so his input helps shape their fight plan to tap into those weaknesses in spite of banal denials by the Garcia camp that they ever intended to tap into the Pacquiao history with Ariza. 

Justin Fortune served as Pacquiao conditioning coach from 2003 until 2007 and will reunite with Freddy Roach for this effort at least. An ankle and leg specialist Gavin McMillan is in support to shore up Pacquiao’s long time leg cramping problems. The illicit drug testing cartel chosen for this non Vegas bout is supposed to be the newly created VADA,  Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, also associated with Victor Conte and operating out of Las Vegas if any more drug testing sleaze factor is needed. I’m sure Team Pacquiao felt the need to keep the Las Vegas connection however loosely associated since the Chinese boxing commission was only newly formed this year. Whether or not Conte now has a grudge against Team Rios is not known by me, but any advantage would appear to be Pacquiao’s. Who can really know with claimed traces in parts per trillion modern day snake oil medicine men and drug testing cartels are selling the public? They can’t pass their own drug tests which is why you’ll never see them implemented on themselves.

What Pacquiao used to sell was a tigerish instinct to fight with lightning knockout punches out of his southpaw stance that garnished him every fighter of the decade bauble that counts. The past couple of years, however has seen him selling soap in the form of Filipino politics. His brother and sister in law are now elected officials on top of Manny being the supreme politico as a congressman for his district. His wife also holds another substantial office, so could be the start of a new Filipino political dynasty if Pacquiao can keep his focus once he retires.

His domestic life certainly became the stuff of soap operas with his wife serving a divorce subpoena going into the Bradley fight after years of Pacquiao infidelities. Then he added fuel to the fire with ill advised comments over gay marriage, going against the liberal Speaker of the House, longtime Senator Harry Reid, a former amateur boxer that Pacquiao actually campaigned for. Few in boxing even care for politics save the liberal Nevada governor who appoints boxing commission honchos. That “political misstep” is likely the real reason Pacquiao didn’t win the Bradley fight. If that wasn’t enough of a tactical boner, what were Team Pacquiao genii thinking when they invited “Hi, I’m Mitt Romney and I just lost the US presidential election.” in for a canned chat before the always tough Juan Manuel Marquez? The quotation is exactly as Romney introduced himself, I kid you not. They further compounded that grave error by saturating the Paquiao corner with more negativity when they gave this loser’s loser a ringside seat spitting distance from where Pacquiao was knocked cold before his eyes. 

Thank goodness I don’t get paid big bucks for making these kinds of critical decisions for fighters, but we have to wonder what further idiocy the team will have in store for the beleaguered Pacquiao going into Rios? He’s been in the ring against the hardest overall caliber fighters of anyone in boxing not to mention there are few ranked fighters with more than his 61 career fights currently operating. He needed and got an 11th month breather from boxing for the first time ever in his career. This is surely going to be a firefight for as long as it lasts, and it may last 12 rounds of the kind a grind the near 35 year old fighter really doesn’t need, but relishes all the same because he’s been the purest premiere fighter of his ages in giving his all in the ring. 

Certainly Rios is stylistically made to order for Pacquiao, yet Rios still remains an unrelenting knockout beast wanting to duplicate Pacquiao’s still painful KO loss. The vacant WBO International welterweight title is the bauble. Rios can be outboxed for spells, but nobody has yet to put a serious dent into him like Pacquiao always used to do, but can he still?

Fun on Tour

Fun on Tour

The undercard is strong with perhaps the most varied international cast of top fighters ever assembled from the 4 corners of the earth. Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr looks like the biggest upside there in potential stardom, looking to become the best Mexican heavyweight contender in history and not too far removed from a title shot, perhaps late next year or 2015 if his victories continue to mount. He goes against former touted American prospect Tor Hamer looking to climb back in the ratings.

Contract terms  of Pacquiao and Rios are may be unknown, but supposedly Rios would earn more than the $3 million Robert Guerrero made to fight Mayweather according to Arum in a dig at his former protege now nemesis. It’s a gamble on whether the Asian market picks up on this historic opportunity to see Manny Pacquiao in what looks like a firefight of the year in the deal of the century!

The skinny here:

http://www.venetianmacao.com/manny/?utm_source=google-us&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=aug13-tkt_en&utm_campaign=sem-ven-manny-fight

If all the above history of distractions aren’t enough, the worst typhoon in the history of the Philippines has devastated that country. Congressman Pacquiao should be slogging around in the middle of the mess leveraging his position to speed as much aid possible to his district, but alas, he has schedule conflict with what may turn to be the most importing fight of his boxing career coming up. These types of conflicts were well predicted in advance of his assuming congressional duties, and in fact he was supposed to be retired as early as 2012.

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/pacquiao-registers-worst-attendance-in-congress-094644868.html

The tens of millions left on the table luring him for one more fight again and again simply cannot be forsaken by such a poor bedraggled Filipino waif as he grew up. Presumably many if not most Filipinos forgive him his distance from the tragedy since he does have his “lieutenants” working on the ground as they would be even if he were there. The official statement here:

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/manny-pacquiao-statement-230941

“I really feel very bad over what happened in the Visayas region where more than 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives. I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy but I’m in deep training in General Santos City for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go. I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”

Indeed, these are very trying times for many, even for Manny Pacquiao and “boxing” in general. Such are what The Fates have given Pacquiao to work with. Brandon Rios for sure has his own Fates to deal with. Fighters seldom enter a fight 100% healthy and mentally prepared. Life imposes it’s will, so we shall see how they deal with it.

Timothy Bradley Returns Against Freddie Roach & Ruslan Provodnikov

Timothy Bradley is getting his desired rematch of sorts, the rematch against Manny Pacquiao trainer, Freddie Roach, who will be administering the corner of his charge, the  mauling Siberian bear, Ruslan Provodnikov. The anticipated fire fight will take place Saturday, March 16th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Mr. Desert Storm

Bradley has regrettably been missing in action since his mega dustup last June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Manny Pacquiao that created as much radioactive fall out as the Chernobyl Nuclear accident near 30 years previous. The ever game challenger to Pacquiao’s WBO title put in a gritty effort to hang on for the split decision in perhaps the most hotly disputed, high profile boxing result of the 3rd millennium.

He managed to finish the grueling, high paced bout on his feet before requiring immediate convalescence in a wheelchair with serious injuries to both his ankles and feet requiring rest and therapy, torned tendons and fractured bones being mentioned, but never verified.  I never got the final updated injury report, but Bradley needed and took substantial time away from boxing to sort out his health and future career options.

The Timothy Bradley name instantaneously became infamous in spite of being a fine Ring ranked P4P fighter long under appreciated by the larger boxing public. He was savaged on antisocial internet and boxing websites as if he had made the final decision of the judges, even reporting death threats by email and snail mail, a real stain on boxing fans if true.

His promoter, Bob Arum, called for an investigation into the bout which, ahem…..drum roll….revealed nothing. The WBO honchos reviewed the fight with a panel of judges and awarded the decision to Manny Pacquiao which, ahem…..drum roll….meant nothing.  

The highly radioactive Bradley rested on his laurel of thorns as Top Rank scrambled to find him another fight in advance of the anticipated rematch with Pacquiao. Nothing doing, Bradley wouldn’t budge. The opponents and the money just didn’t tick all the right boxes for him, so he waited, and waited, and waited some more. As Pfc Gomer Pyle was want to remind Sgt Carter, “Surprise, surprise,” and now Bradley’s a week away from his return against the aggressive punching, always swarming Ruslan Provodnikov. Both have been fighting in the 140 – 150 lb range for their careers. Both are at near identical 5-6 short stuff statures and 29 years of age, but they’ll be easy to tell apart in the ring, trust me.

Ruslan Provodkinov

The relatively unknown Provodnikov is Ring ranked in Bradley’s old junior welter division at #10, but lacks Bradley’s championship experience against top contenders. That along with being slower on the draw and a somewhat plodding face forward style makes him imminently beatable by Bradley on paper. The paper doesn’t record that Bradley pretty much ran out of steam in his intense bout against Pacquiao last year, meaning a high intensity pressure fighter in excellent condition could exploit that weakness late in the fight, especially if Bradley no longer has best use of his legs which have always been a key principle in his herky, jerky, jumping around style that has thus far kept him unbeaten.

The intangibles in this bout are intriguing enough. Freddie Roach has been baiting Bradley with some classics, ie; “When he feels Ruslan’s power, like when he felt Manny’s, it’s going to be a remake of Forrest Gump. ‘Run, Timmy, run!’ This isn’t about Ruslan finishing what Manny started. It’s about duplicating  it.” Roach has been working with Provodnikov long enough to add some wrinkles for this bout, so clearly the Siberian is hungry enough to pull an upset since Roach doesn’t work with slackers. He’s been Pacquiao’s lead sparring partner for two camps now.

Speaking of hungry, Bradley says he goes vegan during his training camp to pare down his unusually cut, overdeveloped physique. His legs look like pipe cleaners compared to his bulging torso, perhaps a clue to his recent ankle injuries.

Bigger than advertised!

Bigger than advertised!

Bradley has said he wants to make a statement with a knockout of the very durable Siberian who has only lost one bout, and that by decision. Since Bradley has stepped up to championship level boxing in his last 9 fights, he’s only had a single knockout and that over the 40 year old Joel Casamayer.

We could have some fun here and note that Bradley looks like Tarzan and punches like Jane, but truth is he does have some hurtful enough pop to knock fighters down and change their fight strategy, so we’ll just have to see about all that.

Juan Manuel Marquez Better Than Floyd Mayweather Jr?

Now that long suffering Marquez supporters are in the middle of their fun propping him up on an impossible pedestal as happens to Hall of Fame fighters when they deliver their signature bout, in this case a singular Hail Mary savior right hand delivered as Marquez teetered on the brink of extinction, so where does he rate in today’s boxing landscape and yesteryear’s historical record?

One question you won’t hear the Great Wizards of Boxing’s Oz World ask, “Is Juan Manuel Marquez better than Floyd Mayweather Jr, thusly and justly due the consensus Ring and Boxrec #1 P4P spot?”

We can forgive Boxrec for not talking because servers are designed to be mute as far as interpersonal communication. Ring won’t talk about it because Mayweather is The Franchise of Golden Boy Promotions, and we know who owns Ring. They had already stripped Manny Pacquiao before he ever took the Bradley loss, a  warning shot across the bow of the Pacquiao Ship of State before the boxing bombardments blasted him out of the water with 2 consecutive losses.

We can clearly see that what passes as boxing’s illustrious cognoscenti these days, why they have supposed that in a single mighty swipe by Marquez, 55-6-1, 40 KO, he has leapt over the decaying careers of Salvador Sanchez, 44-1-1, 32 KO, Marco Antonio Barrera, 67-7, 44 KO, and Eric Morales, 52-9, 36 KO to share the almighty throne  of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, 107-6-2, 86 KO.

A time share contract is currently being hammered out with The Great Pantheon of Boxing.

The Marquez fans are a relentless bunch outside the ring much as Juan Manual Marquez was inside the ring when he got his man hurt, a great combination finisher and now a one punch assassination artist to boot. According to the official Hysterical Society of Never Say Die Marquez Fans, Marquez has now proven he owns Manny Pacquiao, 54-5-2, 38 KO, with a perfect 4-0 record against the newly revised Pacquiao record, 52-8-1, 38 KO. Pacquiao is now officially stripped of all his fighter of the decade awards which are transferred to Marquez. Pacquiao’s 2nd place finish in the largest Greatest Fighters poll ever conducted, why that is also stripped from Pacquiao and awarded to Marquez who is now sandwiched between Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali, well beyond any Mexican fighter in history, so adios Julio, we barely knew ya, now get lost.

Well, that makes Marquez better than Mayweather now and in the future, after all, he’s got a perfect record of 4-0 against Pacquiao. Now compare to Mayweather’s perfect 3-0 record of skipping out of the Pacquiao fights. Marquez toed the scratch line against Pacquiao 4X whereas Mayweather has thrice scratched through his own name on the agreed upon Pacquiao fight contracts.

And when we compare overall records, why Mayweather at 42-1, 26 KO just can’t match up to the Marquez newly minted perfect record of 62-0, 40 KO.

Everyone and their dog, heck, even Manny Pacquiao’s long gone dog, they all know that Marquez shut out Chris John on the cards and never punches low. And he completely outclassed Freddie Norwood, period, end of.

!Yummy For The Tummy!

!Yummy For The Tummy!

In the well documented Golden Boy Promotions sordid Pissgate scandal,  had Marquez not been the lower ranked fighter surreptitiously tricked into drinking his own pissoir slurpees for the privilege of fighting the higher ranking Mayweather, why Marquez woulda knocked  that mothabeata back to Timbuktu, he would have, leaving only the prickly Javier Duran to finish off. Easy, go roust up the Junior son of the Mexican honcho that signed off on the disqualification of Marquez by a 1st round headbutt. Pay him to testify that el padre was dyslexic and recorded everything in reverse order, so serve up some Mexican justice to reverse the reversed order and kiss Javier goodbye.

We already know that the late, great Sugar Ray Robinson fought in washerwomen flurries, so transfer him into the women’s records, voila, Juan Manuel Marquez es numero uno del mundo!

Et tu, Brute,  We’re Done. 

Marquez KO Pacquiao–Time For Pacquiao/Marquez 5?

The plain unvarnished truth of the matter is after a firefight for the ages that saw both fighters hit the deck, with Marquez on the verge of being knocked out, Juan Manuel Marquez summoned up his signature right hand and delivered a knockout for the ages, felling the mighty timber of Manny Pacquiao.

That would be officially at the 2:59 mark at the end of round 6.

OK, the punch harkens back to the thunderbolt out of the blue signature left hand of Antonio Tarver that knocked out out Roy Jones at the beginning of the last decade. It felt like the universe had somehow wobbled and shifted on it’s axis, and maybe it did and maybe it shifted some more tonight.

Over & Out

Over & Out

It’s far too early for Marquez or Pacquiao to decide their next move. First the long suffering Marquez supporters have to have their fun as they prop him up on an impossible pedestal as happens to Hall of Fame fighters when they deliver their signature bout. Without Manny Pacquiao, the Marquez signature bout would have been a lesser one that saw him in just as much trouble against Juan Diaz, only to recover and knock the game Diaz cold.

It was Manny Pacquiao in their rematch at superfeatherweight who beautifully summed up his feelings after Marquez was knocked down and stormed back to knock Pacquiao into the ropes.

“You knock me out, you win……..”

Marquez finally won tonight, but he endured more than his fair share of scrutiny over his new strength and conditioning coach, Angel Heredia, aka Angel Hernandez of BALCO ilk, hired last year for the 3rd fight. He was ecstatic how much bigger and more ripped Marquez was compared to Pacquiao.  Keep in mind that this picture is from a Ring article addressing the accusations against him for showing up with the disgraced training coach and newly muscled up physique.

Here’s a comparison between the last fight in 2011 and this fight: 

Marquez 2011--Marquez 2012

Marquez 2011–Marquez 2012

Just from a visual point of view, Marquez looks like he reduced his body fat say 2% and bulked up his arms say 15%, something easily accomplished with proper weight resistance training for a guy who had never engaged in weight training as a featherweight.

OK, lets compare the Marquez of the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight when he first moved up two divisions to weigh 142 lbs, exactly one pound under what he weighed for the 4th Pacquiao installment.

Urine Tonics & Tossin' Rocks

Urine Tonics & Tossin’ Rocks

OK, the general consensus going into the Mayweather fight was that he was doing all the wrong things. While in good overall condition, he’s doughy with fat and considerably less muscular and fought a poor fight strategy.

I posited in my previous articles concerning fight 3 and 4 that Marquez was in far batter condition than he was for the Mayweather fight not to mention more acclimated at the higher weights to go along with his new trainer. He says he didn’t know about the history of Angel Heredia, aka Angel Hernandez, and that may be, but nonetheless I think he will find that the worm may have turned on his career as folks wonder how after 3 fights of never once downing Manny Pacquiao that he managed at the late age of 39 to not only down him, but knock him cold.

So, anyway, could be the stage is set for Act 5 of Marquez vs Pacquiao, or maybe Marquez can rematch Floyd Mayweather Jr who is reputed to be looking for a fight for the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Oh, but wait, Mayweather has gone on record repeatedly saying that he will never fight an Arum promoter fighter, one of the few statements of truth that he has ever uttered. He has had the pick of the Golden Boy Promotion stables to choose from the past 6 years.

However, Golden Boy Promotions has yet to answer accusations of positive Mayweather drug tests being covered up. Thomas Hauser gives the skinny here:

http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

The link also talks about Mayweather’s out of court settlement and public apology to Pacquiao after the supposed positive Mayweather drug tests became known  to the Pacquiao legal team.

Boxing has always been a tough, dirty business with most fighters never getting their just due for competing, it’s just a shame it has to get needlessly dirtier, but it is what it is in this era.

Like I say, it’s just too early for Marquez or Pacquiao to know where they can go from here. Pacquiao extended out his career and extra two years because of the huge amount of money on the table. Marquez might now have the luxury of that option also. Numero Cinco might possibly break PPV records, but they got to sign on the dotted line and then toe up to the scratch line to make a go of it. And don’t forget your pee cups and finger pricks. It’s a dirty and bloody sport, let’s not forget.

At any rate, Marquez KO Pacquiao for now……..enjoy…..

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money at MGM Grand, Saturday, December 8th is the shorthand of all you need to know.

`36 Rounds & Counting

36 Rounds & Counting

I did become excited about this fight when Bob Arum bigged up a Mexico City venue, just the place to make Marquez step out of his shell and try for once to really take it to Pacquiao, and just the sort of challenge that Pacquiao loves, a Mexican Bullring packed to the hilt with El Locos screaming for  mano a mano Mexican style boxing that the Filipino relishes. Imagine the contagion spreading around the world on fight night with HBO and Larry Merchant broadcasting from Mexico City as tens of millions storm the worldwide broadcasters for a stream of the fight on whatever set ups they’re using!

Nope, ain’t gonna happen that way.

I gather the numbers didn’t work since Marquez has been a Vegas fighter for most of his career and lacks the overwhelming Mexican support that Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales enjoyed. Marquez is a Top Rank fighter now, so Arum gave him a trial run  in Mexico City against Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko for the WBO junior welter title. Marquez aggressively outpointed Fedchenko for his 4th divisional title.

Pacquiao has also become something of a Vegas fighter with Arum carefully booking him at MGM Grand, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s home for the last several years. Mayweather might decide to take the plunge and make a Pacquiao fight on the spur of the moment, so Arum maybe looks to keep the Grand booked for all future Pacquiao dates.

The Trilogy

The Trilogy

As you can see, Marquez was well packed and ripped for the rubber match in a fashion that he has never been thanks to Angela Heredia, one of many infamous trainers part of the BALCO scandal. Somehow he avoided the convictions and jail time others in the scandal were handed, probably by plea deal in exchange for favorable prosecution testimony.

Regardless of whether or not Marquez has fallen into the PEDs trap, his conditioning has been at career bests against Pacquiao. I had hopes that he could provide a good fight against Mayweather when he moved up two divisions a few years back, but then he started taking his frothy health cocktails drawn from a spigot hooked up to his own private pistola, well, I winced and hoped I wouldn’t heave. Then the comic book endurance and strength training of him throwing around large rocks at altitude evaporated whatever chance he had against the crafty Mayweather.

Pacquiao is taking on his third P4P fight in a row with Timothy Bradley sandwiched between Marquez, and, boy howdy, what a surprise wake up call against the undefeated physical phenom. Pacquiao took it big time to Bradley for 9 rounds, hitting him so hard that the shock waves popped tendons in Bradley’s ankles loose from their moorings. Incredibly Bradley didn’t go down in spite of sporting the usual Pacquiao souvenirs of a lumped up, mashed out of place face before convalescing in a wheelchair after the fight ended.

Even more incredibly, the Vegas judges awarded Bradley the split decision in a fight nobody thought was even close. The outrage was such that the WBO commissioned 5 veteran judges to review the fight and awarded Pacquiao the unanimous decision, yet Bradley still holds the WBO title. Bob Arum called for an investigation of himself, wanting to distance himself from the grievous improprieties of the Nevada commission who stacked the judges.

Bradley did physically extend out Pacquiao’s conditioning more than any fighter yet. The 9th round is what turned around the fight for Bradley as he was completely exhausted, a sitting duck for legendary straight left hands that made Pacquiao the most celebrated fighter since Muhammad Ali. Right at the point of the knockout, Pacquiao hit the wall and went into slower and slower motion until they were standing there looking at each other in disbelief. Neither had anything left to mount a decent assault for the rest of the fight, yet Bradley won the judges over while the rest of boxing told him that he really didn’t win the fight. Yeah, thanks guys.

The decision was a headscratcher until you consider the source. This is boxing in Vegas that’s moving closer to pro wrestling in plot line and choreography, see  the Ortiz/Mayweather outrage, and in outcomes, see any of dozens of their fights every year where the judging defies all logic.

There always has been a long standing prejudice against big sluggers like Pacquiao when they fail to knock out their opponent as was expected. Big Vegas Players lose huge sums no matter how technically nuanced Pacquiao has become under Freddie Roach, so it means nothing to judges who know the bottomline. The Marquez and Bradley fights were the easiest fights Pacquiao has had in ages as evidenced by his postfight choirboy looks as opposed to his typical mangled features after he lays down ferocious beatings and knockouts as the most celebrated offensive fighter of the decade. All the lumps were transferred to Bradley and Marquez.

Pacquiao didn’t help his concentration by the revelations of his marital woes hours before the Marquez fight when he was supposedly served divorce papers. His concentration further lapsed before the Bradley fight when he came out against gay marriage in the home state of the powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a liberal democrat in support of gay marriage who Pacquiao had previously campaigned for. Boxing results shouldn’t be determined by politics, but the reality has always been that if the referee and/or judges want, they can determine the outcome of any fight, not the fighters, and the Nevada Commish is a political appointment.

Pacquiao suffered his first officiating outrage with the Agapito Sanchez  Technical Draw when the Dominican Billy Goat butted his way out of the fight. I’ve never seen a better example of a fighter that should have been DQed after it was obvious butting was the only offensive tool in his arsenal. Then the admitted scoring error in the first Marquez fight that would have given Pacquiao the split decision instead of a draw. Then the missed 2nd knockdown by referee  Kenny Bayless in the rematch that should have been at least a unanimous decision for Pacquiao if not a knockout when Marquez walked to Pacquiao’s corner, clearly out on his feet. Bayless is also the ref for the 4th installment, so we’ll see if he can get it right this time around.

Maybe Marquez can borrow some of the fight from diehard JMMarquez fans who continue to litter the internet with bitter claims of victory over Pacquiao. He really does need some extra fight to him IF he REALLY wants to beat Pacquiao.

The Rubber was a stylistic technical disappointment for both. Marquez throw a some furious popcorn flurries off the backfoot that never put a dent into Pacquiao’s features, whereas Pacquiao leading right hooks swiped Marquez’s left eye half closed and his straight lefts lumped up his right side, but he never really went after Marquez nor did he ever hurt him or knock him down like previous encounters.

Pacquiao for his part needs to understand the sympathies that Vegas holds for Marquez and bring back some of his aggressive offense that made him such a legend. No need to abandon technical boxing, just step up the intensity a few notches or risk another controversial decision that might not go his way.

It should also be noted that Pacquiao continues to break his own record for the most Ring P4P fights, the Marquez rubber being his 11th and Marquez will vault into sole ownership of 2nd place with his 5th P4P fight. He’s currently tied with Mayweather for 2nd place with 4 each.

FYI, you can read about the compelling parallel P4P histories of Pacquiao and Mayweather here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/modern-p4p-rankings-manny-pacquiao-vs-floyd-mayweather-jr/

Another interesting development going into this fight is that after Mayweather was released from prison, he quietly paid out a private settlement with a public apology to Pacquiao in exchange for dropping the lawsuit that Mayweather had lost every round in. The IRONY is now Mayweather has been hit with hard rumors about 3 positive drug tests that were hushed up by Golden Boy Promotions and the  USADA drug testing cartel. Here’s the skinny by Thomas Hauser that pretty much backs up what I’ve been saying about the poor reporting in the boxing media about drug testing, plus plenty of new revelations:

http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

Yes, most anywhere we look in the boxing world, there’s a lot of cynicism over the 4th fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. It doesn’t seem possible they could top their previous PPV total, yet there should be plenty of interest in the fight come first bell.

Who wants to miss what could be the best fight by far between these warrior adversaries? Not a chance. 

The P4P Battle–Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley

Long time Ring P4P King, Manny Pacquiao, goes up against one of the latest Ring P4P Princes, Timothy Bradley, in what promises to be one of the most dynamic all action fights of the year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 9th.

Or it could end on an ugly leaping headbutt, but regardless, Pac Man meets a serious physical challenge in the awkwardly hard charging fellow shortstuff Desert Storm Bradley who never met an angle he couldn’t punch from or used a muscle that wasn’t fully flexed out. Although the sculpted Bradley amazingly may be down on the power charts, he provides the kind of action that could be fought from pillar to post for as long as the fight lasts.

Fight!

Fight!

Bradley is always in tremendous condition, boxing’s nonstop Energizer Bunny in the ring, but if recent form holds of Pacquiao opponents whipping themselves into best ever career conditions, Pacquiao may have trouble picking his spots like he was able to do against the laid back defensive counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight. He just might be forced into his old school Pacman slugging frenzy, not  bad thing for fight fans as Ricky Hatton found out.

Speaking of the Marquez rubber match, the worm may have turned on the phenomenon of Manny Pacquiao’s unparalleled career. The Congressman/Boxer was heavily booed in his decision win over the popular Vegas fighter, a highly technical bout that resembled two feuding Spanish matadors taking turns at lightning rapier thrusts of their estocadas for the finishing strike.

Pacquiao came up as an all action slugger in the mold of a Jack Dempsey, but is now picking his shots like the master boxer he’s become under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. He’s become so defensively adept that he made the counter punching Marquez whiff amazingly wide on many occasions, but all apparently for naught with Vegas crowd. Bradley is not nearly so popular, but if he succeeds in taking the fight to Pacquiao and having some success, well, who can say how an fickle boxing crowd is really going to react until the moment arrives?

The Congressman/Boxer is also being investigated by the Philippine government  for alleged improprieties in one of his charitable organizations. It’s no surprise that big guns are after Pacquiao now since his stated ambition is to run for the presidency in the next election, so he may be in need of an overhaul of his “staff” of faithful followers if he is to ever achieve that ambition. Also, he may or may not have been served his divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight, depending on the source.

OUCH!

Pacquiao may be a grizzled ring veteran of 33 years of age now, yet he is as distracted now as he was in the first Morales fight 7 years ago where he was undergoing highly disputed managerial and promotional scrums over his services that left him exposed in the ring without his beloved Reyes’ puncher’s gloves.

The extracurricular distractions have slowly extracted their toll, so the time could be ripe for a prime young gunslinger who’s never been beat and hungry for recognition to show up at the right place at the right time for the huge upset if he can stay upright. Otherwise it’s gonna be a painful night if Bradley gets behind on the scoring because of knockdowns, something Marquez can attest to.

Bradley does have some problems with his balance, his helter skelter attacks leaving him ripe for sharp counters, so I’d imagine that would be the focus of the Roach strategy.

Noteworthy news is that the Boxrec P4P ratings formula has moved Mayweather up after the win over Miguel Cotto, finally edging Pacquiao to become their new #1. Ring’s more personalized opinion is to demote Pacquiao into a tie with #2 Floyd Mayweather and leave #1 newly vacated,  rather akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater by alleged boxing experts. They simply haven’t compared their actual Ring P4P records, 4-0, 2 KO for Mayweather to 7-1-1 for Pacquiao with more KOs, 5, than Mayweather has P4P fights. Moreover, Pacquiao has twice moved to a new division to face the top Ring fighter in his inaugural fight at the weight, something Mayweather has never done during his rise through the divisions.

I can’t be bothered, but I’d imagine the Boxrec historical p4P data would pretty much parallel the Ring P4P data, ie both Ring and Boxrec curently having Bradley ranked #9 P4P.

Impressively, Bradley will be Pacquiao’s 10th career Ring P4P bout, a new record with every P4P fighter he meets now.

Since most every fan agrees to disagree with the “experts” anyway no matter the order of the fighters attached to #1 through 10, it’s all a bunch of hooey for show and bragging rights in the end. The true tragedy is that the explosive primacy for Pacquiao vs Mayweather has gone the fizzle route. If by a strike of drizzling lightning they do happen to meet next year, Manny will be 34 years old and many years into his Congressional duties and Floyd will be 36 after completing his prison sentence and probably still on probation. 2013 is a long ways in boxing years from the March 13th, 2010 date  that Mayweather demanded and Pacquiao accepted. The terms were quickly agreed upon when the fight was at it’s hottest apex with Manny at age 31 and Floyd at age 33.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men gone awry yet again.

Speaking of the worm turning, Miguel Cotto may not have won the battle against Floyd Mayweather, but perhaps the war as he dished out as good as he got and undermined the invincibility of Mayweather. Then the Al Hayman managed Mayweather stablemate, Andre Berto, has been reported to have trace amounts of a steroid by VADA,  the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association  testing agency, so the repeated accusations that Floyd Mayweather slung at Pacquiao are now dangling on his doorstep making a big stink as the spokesman for “cleaning up boxing.”  Maybe he’s trying to clean out Al Hayman who has little left to promote during the interim as Mayweather prepares for his impending Nevada incarceration on June 1st.

Mayweather should at least be able to console himself with his better Cotto PPV numbers than Pacquiao is likely to show against the relatively unknown Bradley. For boxing fans who prefer fight stats, Pacquiao is currently 6-0-1, 3 KO against common opponents to Mayweather’s 5-0, 1 KO.

The less than honorable Berto trainer and ex-con Victor Conte was bragging about being such a whiz as an advisor and spokesman for VADA  after the Lamont Peterson postive test shocker, but now is jumping ship and explaining it all away.  What a can of worms and cancelled fights Golden Boy and HBO has fallen into, cancelling multimillion dollar fights on the specious trace readings in parts per trillion that very few of their bigshots or the public could pass if they tried.

Pacquiao with the big fight experience will be the betting favorite, but Bradley has been pointing to this fight for over a year, beating southpaws Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor consecutively. Bradley first made his chops by flying overseas to England to dethrone southpaw favorite Junior Witter in his best ever showing. He’s an aggressive swaming type whose style is reminiscent of HOFer Aaron Pryor even if lacking Pryor’s firepower.

He did knock out the elderly Casamayor after scoring some knockdowns, but his fight with Alexander ended with a butt that went to the cards for a technical decision. Bradley tends to lead with his head, so in a lefty/righty fight, butts seem a certainty and may leave both seeing stars.

Lets’ also be clear about their weights since Pacquiao has had a series of controversial catchweight fights. Bradley turned pro at 143 lbs a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday and has since mostly fought at the junior welter limit, but sometimes straying well over in nontitle fights. Pacquiao has been in the 142-146 range for his 7 welter fights, so Bradley is the natural lifetime welter and as far as I know the fight is at the full welter limit of 147lbs. If promotional comments hold a kernel of truth, Bradley considers Pacquiao to be weaker than him who can be easily counterpunched, so he expects to bully Pacquiao around the ring while sharpshooting him.

I see an up and down type of fight with a series of adjustments until the magic formula is found for the win. Could be a Bradley upset, or another Pacquiao beatdown, or anything between, but guaranteed  by styles to be quickly paced action with some interesting technical twists. Bradley is a harder nut to crack compared to most any fighter in the world right now and knows he could make a splash into the Big Buck$ pool, but only IF he defeats Pacquiao cleanly with some style.

Then again, Pacquiao probably feels his future election to the Philippine presidency hinges on every win, so who could beat that kind of motivation?

Fight!

Collect at GO Before Jail–Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Miguel Cotto

Or more cruelly entitled, Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Jail He Goes, But Not Before Passing GO to Collect The Ransom of a Prince.

Floyd Mayweather Jr will presumably settle his career Top Rank feud against Miguel Cotto who defends his WBA juniormiddle belt against Mayweather at the MGM Grand on May 5th in Las Vegas.

Or will Mayweather really fight for the WBA belt?

5 WBC Divisions

5 WBC Divisions

The WBC recently announced their “Diamond” belt will be at stake, a prestige that nobody in boxing has yet figured out the meaning of in an era of super, regular, interim, emeritus, in recess champions promoted by the various ABC boxing orgs. Mayweather briefly held the WBC juniormiddle belt he won in a disputed split against Oscar de la Hoya, but he retired in a huff against boxing and HBO rather than defend it. It remains to be seen if Mayweather bothers to pay the sanctioning fee for a WBA title, something he refused to do for the Shane Mosley fight. Mayweather has traditionally been a very devout WBC fighter to the exclusion of the other major titles in his five divisions.

At Golden Boy Promotions, the inmates do indeed seem to run the place. The culprits of last year’s Golden Boy promoted all time fiascos, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather, will be fighting back to back with the Hopkins rematching his histrionic nonperformance against Chad Dawson the week prior to this promotion.

Golden Boy Promotions used to be a strong, up and coming promotional team promoting all manner of televised high action Latino prospects on the Texas border, Arizona, and California, really any modest population center with a significant Mexican population. GBP was laying the groundwork for a boxing revival and seemed  poised to compete against the current megalith and main rival, the Bob Arum run Top Rank. Alas, as in any Shakespearean tragedy featuring heroic figures, Numero Uno Golden Boy had a myriad of substance abuse, personal, and assorted legal issues that have taken a toll on GBP quality control. Now at least one press release for this fight has Golden Boy listed 2nd between Mayweather and Cotto’s promotional companies, ie:

 “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto,” for Cotto’s WBA Super Welterweight World Championship is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions.

Heresy by any self respecting top boxing promoter.

Noteworthy is that Mayweather’s postponed prison incarceration begins June 1st after the fight, so this may be Mayweather’s first and only bout for the year, a typical year for Mayweather. On paper  and by styles we have what could prove to be a pretty fair scrap unless Mayweather reprises his previous French farce against Victor Ortiz, the details being too sordid to bother recounting.

Miguel Cotto entered into the fraying Mayweather fight picture with the blessings of Bob Arum after the Pacquiao negotiations went nowhere. Mayweather has long said that he would never fight an Arum fighter, but Cotto finally came to the end of his long term Arum contract with rematch against Margarito. There could be some snafus in the process before they ever step into the ring with all the fingers in the pie and who knows if the purses will be guaranteed.

Not many are aware of the Golden Boy ties with Miguel Cotto’s older brother, confusingly named Jose Miguel Cotto. The elder Cotto provided quality contender foil for Golden Boy fighters Saul Alvarez and Pauli Malignaggi in recent years, so the skids to the Mayweather fight were greased for Miguel the younger Cotto well in advance, quite fortuitous given the short window of time Mayweather had before beginning his postponed incarceration.

The fight is unusual in that it breaks the long string of pure Golden Boy fighters that Mayweather has restricted himself to over the past 6 years, but it’s still being held in the same MGM Grand venue he seems dependent on for good luck and good results ever since he squeaked the Oscar De La Hoya split decision so many moons ago.

Mayweather is also looking to capitalize on the Manny Pacquiao phenomenon by using Pacquiao’s name to promote Mayweather’s bouts again, by making more baseless accusations of cheating against Pacquiao at the kickoff presser announcing this fight. Needless to say, the civil suit filed by Pacquiao against Mayweather is ongoing even as Oscar de la Hoya has already apologized and seemingly settled any differences  amicably with Pacquiao and Arum.

Much ado is being made of the VADA, Voluntary Anti-Doping Association “Olympic Style Drug Testing” for the fight by some of the press who haven’t a clue about the nasty little details of the various drug testing orgs or Olympic drug testing in general whose parameters are constantly in flux with every latest developments in the losing “war on drugs.”

VADA is headed by Dr. Margaret Goodman, a longtime Vegas ringside insider as the former ring physician for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. She offers up her opinions freely, seemingly not liking the violent physics of boxing while offering up various studies regarding concussions, eye injuries, ect that the average fan is not interested in. I can’t help but wonder where she was during the Referee Joe Cortez led disaster that let Francisco Lorenzo sprawled unattended on the canvas leaking out of his hamburgered face as the various “ring officials” held something akin to a circle of jerks for many critical minutes as they dickered away.

VADA is the latest new fee taken out of the promotional pie on top of the dozens of older ones and is hardly Olympic style testing as the boxing press may claim, not that Olympic style testing has ever done shinola about cleaning up the drug scandals of their athletes. One thing not likely to change is Mayweather’s alleged dependence upon cortisone shots for his hands, something the Nevada commish allows.

Some in boxing also claim that the Pacquiao fight failed over Mayweather’s insistance on Olympic style testing. Fact is the issue was thrown up at the last minute  after contract details were agreed upon and were being negotiated before Pacquiao had to secure the emergency replacement to insure his strict fight schedule and payday could be met.

True Olympic drug testing can never be negotiated by the athletes!

It was Mayweather who backed out of his own date with a new date and new dancing partner, admitted drug cheat Shane Mosley. He said he only wants to clean up boxing, so he followed that with his choreographed staged fiasco against Victor Ortiz, so maybe he’s bringing in wrestling and opera fight choreography to cleanup the violent physics of competitive boxing that Dr Goodman is up in arms against.

Nonetheless, Miguel Cotto is an honorable substitute as the epitome of a tough, well schooled warrior who has never laid down for anyone. Cynics aplenty may quote Mayweather’s previous observation that he would never fight Manny Pacquiao’s leftovers and critics galore may claim that Cotto is well past his best days if not a shot fighter, but they won’t be the ones raking in the cash for a fight many fans agree makes sense given the circumstances.

Now, it is true that Cotto took a career beating at the hands of Antonio Margarito in a storied fight that matches well with the most legendary fights in history, but Cotto also doles out some of the most vicious beatings of his era, the kind that look like his poor opponents look like they were run over by a Sherman tank. Moreover, he’s a full time fighter, 10 full blooded bouts compared to the 3.25 bouts Mayweather has had since his first of several “retirements” after the De La Hoya bout.

Cotto vs Mosley

Cotto vs Mosley

Common opponents at welter are wins for both fighters, Cotto with a knockout of Zab Judah and decision over Shane Mosley, and Mayweather with decisions over both.

Since his loss to Pacquiao in a fight that he accounted himself well in, Cotto has comeback with a new sporty shotgun style jab that should serve him against Mayweather. He has experimented with both Manny Steward and Pedro Diaz as his trainers, but I hear tell he will be with Diaz for this. I’m not sure Diaz can protect Cotto against the hometown hijinks that have gone on in previous Mayweather fights anytime Joe Cortez is the ref, and Lord have mercy if crazy Uncle Roger Mayweather storms the ring again to attack the fighters and officials.

Steward has the gravitas to squelch any monkey business he sees going against Cotto. Diaz may be a fine up and coming trainer, but presumably Cotto knows he won’t be the “home” fighter this time as he is accustomed, so the expectation is that he will fight accordingly.

Mayweather looks to use his longtime trainer, his uncle Roger Mayweather, so no experimentation there. It remains to be seen if and how Mayweather will pack on the extra pounds for this division. He weighed 150 for the De La Hoya challenge and took a fair share of punishment early as the bigger De La Hoya punched him onto his back foot into a defensive shell against the ropes before Mayweather staged a comeback against the fading champion.

I’d imagine the Mayweather gameplan would be to use his defensive skills to maneuver Cotto around the ring to tire him while marking him up with some select sharp shooting much like the Juan Manuel Marquez fight went. Mayweather showed little defensive prowess against Ortiz though and ate some big shots as he mugged for the cameras, a bad sign going into a Cotto fight. His best performance ever was against Shane Mosley, but only the last 10 rounds of that fight. Mosley won the first two and was on the verge of a knockout before Mayweather recovered his senses, so I have to wonder what happens when his opponent won’t run out of steam and confidence as Mosley seemed to do?

Cotto may no longer be the undefeated brute running over fighters as he used to, but he’s still a youngish 31 years compared to Mayweathers 35 years who lately has been various stages of retirement and celebrity preening. Moreover, Cotto has never been in a bad fight and knows a win splashes him into the big bucks pool with Manny and Floyd and makes the Pacquiao rematch more attractive. His performance against the slick undefeated Paulie Malignaggi showed how he deals with fast defensive spoilers and of course every Mayweather opponent probably reviews the Jose Luis Castillo beating of Mayweather many, many, moons ago that no fighter since has been able to duplicate.

The De La Hoya fight turned Mayweather into a household name, but he’s lacked consistency in his comebacks. He may have won all the bouts, but he need the suspicious involvement of referee Joe Cortez in two of them for his only knockouts of the past 7 years. He boxed pretty much in reverse against the hell bent Marquez, yet stood his ground against the bigger and stronger Mosley and Ortiz, so go figure.

Cotto at 154 is stronger than Mosley at 147 and not likely to go into a shell after 2 good rounds like Mosley. It’s Mayweather’s speed and baffling boxing style that will be the tough mountain for Cotto to climb. Anything is possible, but Mayweather figures to be the big favorite for obvious reasons.

Mayweather is almost guaranteed to win the Pay Per View sweepstakes against Pacquiao this time around since Cotto is a much bigger name and PPV star compared to the little known undefeated P4P phenom that Pacquiao is fighting, Timothy Bradley. Nonetheless, Pacquiao continues to shut out Mayweather on the P4P ratings with more than double the P4P fights, 7-1-1, and more knockouts, 5 KO, than Mayweather has P4P fights, currently at 4-0, 2 KO.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/modern-p4p-rankings-manny-pacquiao-vs-floyd-mayweather-jr/

The undercard is interesting with the 4th copromotion of Canelo Alvarez on a Mayweather card, this time against Shane Mosley. There is talk of a match between them if they win their respective bouts, or if not, perhaps a Cotto/Alvarez superfight, ya never know how these things turn out.

El Toro Canelo

It’s really amazing how big Alvarez has gotten both physically and promotionally from the 18 year old cinnamon tinged Mexican welterweight making his cautious American debut against Larry Mosley, a close relative to Shane Mosley. He now sports a bull neck and weighed in at 165 lbs for the 30 day prefight mandatory, so my guess is that he’s gotten too big and risky for Mayweather, but just about right for Chavez Junior who struggles to make the middleweight limit and last defended his middleweight title at an amazing 181 lbs come fight night.

Ripped for R.I.P. Shane

Ripped for R.I.P. Shane

Mosley was heavily criticized for fading against Mayweather and Pacquiao, but those are the best fighters he ever faced and he was past his prime even if he had a brief moment against Mayweather. I figure he’s in for a shellacking against a growing boy who is a much better boxer than he’s is often credited in spite of his #2 junior middleweight ratings in Ring and Boxrec and #14 P4P in Boxrec.

So, there it is. It’s all up to the fighters now as the countdown has begun.

Unfinished Business–Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez look to finalize loose ends left from their previous meetings when they complete the last leg of their great trilogy at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Saturday, November 12th.

Pacquiao vs Marquez II

Pacquiao vs Marquez II

The official record currently stands at 24 rounds completed in two fights with Pacquiao leading 1-0-1 to 0-1-1 while scoring exactly one(1) more point in the combined scoring totals. That includes 4 credited knockdowns of Marquez and one uncredited knockdown that would have secured a unanimous decision in the 2nd fight had it been properly called by referee Kenny Bayless.

Three of the knockdowns occurred in the first round of the first fight, after which one of the judges made a very rare admission that he made a mistake in scoring that first round that would have given Pacquiao the split decision win.

Marquez fans are a relentless bunch, claiming wins for both fights, so now the table has been set for the biggest fight of Marquez’s career, a chance to secure his place among the elite after being overshadowed by great featherweights of his era, Paquiao, Barrera, and Morales, all of whom have some great featherweight trilogies for their records.

The fight is another in a series of catchweight fights for Pacquiao causing a great hue and cry among supposed purists who don’t know their boxing history much less the nuances of modern fight contracts.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/catch-22-a-history-of-boxing-catchweight-fights/

Manny’s catchweights have been part of a bonus incentive program where the fighters make more money if they come in at the contracted weight. If not, they pay a penalty much like Floyd Mayweather Jr paid to Marquez. The fight goes on regardless.

In this case, it’s Marquez asking for the catchweight, settled at 144 lbs because he is not a natural welterweight, and of course Pacquiao’s promoter loves the publicity and notoriety that the catchweights garner. Folks, it’s all about maximizing big money, something Bob Arum is an expert at no matter how many howls of protest from the impoverished critics.

Ideally, there would never be any catchweights, but outside of boxing the world is a very disorderly place, so how is boxing to be perfect in the larger imperfect world?

Marquez wanted 142 lbs, the same as he got against Mayweather, but negotiated up in order to secure his biggest payday ever, not a bad deal at all for the aging warrior. Boxing fans had hopes that he would provide a competitive contest against Mayweather, but alas, his training was literally piss poor since his self produced urine tonics and tossing about of large rocks couldn’t provide the technical nuance needed against the crafty Mayweather, surely one of the most bizarre nutritional supplements in the history of modern boxing.

Though he lost a wide technical decision on the cards, he did land a few signature right hands early in the fight, enough to keep Mayweather on the backfoot for most of the fight and resembling a Chinese contortunist as he twisted his body into incomprehensible positions to avoid the Marquez offense.

The Mayweather Pretzel Defense

The Mayweather Pretzel Defense

So Marquez is a sharp counterpunching boxer whose power has to be respected. He is susceptable to being outboxed by crafty boxer types as Freddie Norwood, Chris John, and Floyd Mayweather have shown and Pacquiao has held his own in the boxing points tallies. Pacquiao was hurt briefly in their last fight, so a knockout for Marquez is not out of the question even if it seems unlikely.

The main key for Marquez is the knockdowns he suffers from, and not only against Pacquiao.

Marquez Duffs the Canvas

There is no way he can ever win against Pacquiao if he continues to be battered to the canvas, and Marquez was more than battered in the previous two fights, he was out on his feet and quite fortunate the fight wasn’t stopped at those points.

The Marquez brothers, Juan Manuel and Rafael, are some of the toughest fighters in any era. They do not quit out of sheer stubborness, nor do they or their supporters concede any of their defeats. These are very proud men, a noble attribute for sure, but one that has doomed many a misfortunate who lacked the judgment to know when to give in or make an adjustment, so can Marquez make the adjustment for this fight?

He can start by losing his urine tonics and hire a respected nutritionist and physical trainer to gain the weight properly, something he failed to do against Mayweather.

Now Marquez is steeping a tempest in a teapot with the hiring of controversial strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez, AKA Angel Heredia who was affiliated with convicted felon of the BALCO Laboratories, Victor Conte. Marquez claims not to have known about the past of Hernandez which pretty much exposes the lack of quality professional advice from his team, but at least Marquez should be in better shape this time around than he was for Mayweather.

That is what Manny Pacquiao has done for boxing. He whips his opponents into their best ever conditioning before comprehensively whipping them in the ring, so is Marquez now following down the same treacherous path?

Boxing has never seen such out of the ring exploits of the likes of Manny Pacquiao. Movie star, recording artist, and serving Congressman in his district in the Philippines, not to mention devoted husband and father, there is simply no known past model that can predict when or if the monumental out of ring distractions will take their toll on his boxing.

Though Marquez is the older fighter at age 38, the 31 yr old Pacquiao has almost caught his 59 career fights with 58 career fights against better competition, most significantly at higher weights these past three years. Marquez has logged more overall rounds, 432 to 341 for Pacquiao, but Pacquiao has been taking the stiffer shots against bigger fighters, so both have significant wear, yet they’ve remained two of Ring Magazine’s favorite P4P fighters over the decade.

vs Marquez 2008

vs Marquez 2008

 Pacquiao last fought Marquez only three years ago as a super featherweight and followed up by destroying Ring Magazine’s top welters who appeared on their covers that year, De la Hoya, Cotto, Margarito, and Mosley. Few in boxing would have believed that possible then, yet the critics remain unsatisfied.  

vs De La Hoya

Boxing is a business first and foremost and Pacquiao has worked as hard as any fighters in history to arrive at this spot where he can afford the luxury of fighting “only” twice a year. His political responsibilities are such that he should be hardpressed to fight even once a year and in fact, he has delayed his retirement the past 2 yrs because of all the money on the table for him and the big fights still available like this one.

vs Margarito

vs Margarito

The Marquez trilogy could be the biggest money fight of his career once the PPV totals come in which leads to another relevant point lost on the average boxing fan. Pacquiao is the first ever featherweight to command a PPV fight and looks poised to break the record for the most career PPV fights currently held by Oscar De La Hoya. More importantly, his PPV numbers over the past 3 yrs has set a new record first set by Mike Tyson.

He’s no longer the little Filipino fella with a funny name trying to make a name in America any more, though at the 146 lbs or so he currently enters the ring at, he is small for modern welters who sometimes come into the ring weighing over the middleweight limit come fight night. No matter the size, Pacquiao continues to rearrange the known boxing universe as we know it.

Cotto vs Mosley

Cotto vs Mosley

In spite of sweeping every consensus award as the decade’s best boxer, surely Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao know that he has to conclusively nail down this final fight with Marquez to get full credit for the rivalry.

Is Marquez just that sort of stubborn fighter who refuses to budge to the greatness of Pacquiao, or has Marquez been living on borrowed time at the fringes of officiating mistakes all these years?

The Bottom Line:

Pacquiao will be the substantial favorite. In the 7 fights since their rematch, Pacquiao has dominated superior competition with 4 straight knockouts followed by 3 straight shutout decisions. Marquez has sometimes struggled in the points tallies and has continued to get knocked down or otherwise hurt in some of his 6 fights since, but he is the Ring lightweight champ even as he has slipped in the P4P rankings, currently Ring #5 and Boxrec #7 . In contrast, Pacquiao is #1 in every significant rating known to man.

I don’t see how Marquez can survive this latest version of Pacquiao, but Manny did seem to let up after his beatdowns of Margarito and Mosley, so could be Marquez survives yet again to tell the tale of being robbed.

Full props to all the parties who helped to tie down this difficult loose end for good. Marquez had to leave Goldenboy Promotions who chose not to match the Arum offer.

Boxing fans tend to be an emotional lot and these two fighters bring out a bitter rivalry between the two groups. Some may moan about the completion of a great trilogy, but both Marquez and Pacquiao are richly deserving of this final battle to settle things once and for all.

The link for Pacquiao/Marquez 4 here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/pacquiao-vs-marquez-4-the-money/

Pacquiao vs Marquez III

Pacquiao vs Marquez III