Even Juan Manual Marquez knows he has zero chance against Manny Pacquiao. In fact, the man who was once upon a time regarded as Pacquiao’s biggest foe and arch nemesis appears strangely resigned to the fact that he will get ripped to shreds in the pair’s November 12 fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Speaking with the Manila Standard regarding his upcoming match, Marquez made these very telling comments:
“I’ll go for the kill or die trying,” Marquez told the Manila Standard.
Spoken like a dead man walking.
The truth is, this a very different Marquez than the one who fought against Pacquiao in the pair’s prior two showdowns. In their first fight, of course, the two famously fought to a controversial 12-round draw back in 2004. Then in 2008, when Pacquiao was supposedly at the top of his game and ready to throw a beating to anyone in the sport, he earned an extremely controversial -- and in some circles, undeserved -- split decision in 2008.
A third match between the two appeared imminent back then, but now it feels like every other time Pacquiao has fought against a washed-up opponent – a little too late. The Marquez who will step into the ring in November is not the same one who clearly deserved a win in at least one of his two battles against Pacquiao. This is the Marquez who has been slowed down by years upon years of fighting opponents of comparable skill levels and an undeniable beat down via Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in late 2009.
Does Marquez have a shot at beating the best Filipino boxer in the sport today in his own mind? Of course. In reality? Not so much.
Therefore, when he says that he is prepared to die against Pacquiao, it’s hard to read anything more into those comments other than that they're the desperate attempts of a delusional fighter trying to pump himself up for an inevitable defeat.
Marquez’s suicidal claims aside, the far more interesting subplot to all this is how it will influence Pacquiao’s legacy. Win or lose, it’s hard to place much value into what should be an easy win at this point in time. A year and a half ago, Marquez was still a legitimate threat to Mayweather, Pacquiao and anyone else. Now, he’s a shell of his former self. In essence, Pacquiao (yet again) appears to be dead set to fight against a guy who is all but a guaranteed victory.
A money and victory total boost is forthcoming for the Filipino superstar, but in terms of legacy enhancement, this is not the way to go. Rather, Mayweather’s plan is the way to go.
Either way, Marquez knows that death is looming come November. He can either take his massacre while running away like Shane Mosley did in Pacquiao’s last match, or he can stand up like Antonio Margarito and get punished into oblivion. Either way, Marquez loses – both literally and figuratively.