Manny Pacquiao is arguably the most humble man left in a sport defined by narcissists and egomaniacs, but even he knows that Juan Manuel Marquez has no shot against him on November 12 at the MGM Grand.
While speaking with KO Boxing recently, Pacquiao remained modest, despite the fact that even he realizes his opponent has nothing for him.
“I expect the best Marquez on that night,” he said. “I've already fought twice with Marquez so I know his style.”
The pair, of course, has already famously met on two separate occasions – one resulting in a draw and the other in a Pacquiao win.
In 2004 they locked horns for the first time, with Pacquiao dominating in the early going but Marquez refusing to give up. The Filipino champion caught his seemingly lethargic opponent with a clean shot in the first round and sent him down to the canvas at the beginning of the match, much to everyone’s surprise. This would happen twice more, with Marquez getting up each time. After the first round, however, the match was much more even-keel and, as a result, it was eventually ruled a draw.
The problem, though, was that it would later be revealed that one of the judges scored the bout incorrectly, not giving Pacquiao due points for his Marquez knockdowns. If he had, Manny would have walked away the winner – plain and simple.
In an effort to squash the rumors and answer the question of who was better once and for all, Pacquiao and Marquez squared off for part two of their duel in March of 2008. The latter fighter put on a strong showing in this second go-around, landing 21 percent of his jabs (Pacquiao landed 14 percent) and 42 percent power punches (Pacquiao landed 37 percent). However, in the eyes of the judges, at least, the slightly statistical advantages didn’t translate into in-the-ring dominance, and they would ultimately rule the match in Pacquiao’s favor 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113.
Despite Marquez’s efforts at getting an immediate rematch -- with Rich Schaefer throwing down a $6 million guarantee for the third fight -- Pacquiao decided he had made his point sufficiently with, what if the judges had tabulated their scores correctly the first time, would have been two consecutive wins.
Obviously, Pacquiao eventually came around to a third and final match against Marquez. This is most likely because he senses that the end of his career is near and doesn’t want to leave any unanswered questions – even if it’s not really a question most people need answered.
Just about anyone who knows anything about boxing has already agreed that Marquez stands no chance against his Filipino counterpart this time around. People from Pacquiao's camp have said that Pacquiao would “wreck” Marquez. Las Vegas oddsmakers have zero faith in an upset. And, now, even Pacquiao know that he’ll make short work of what undoubtedly at one point was a valid threat to his reign, but isn’t anymore.
Actually, one boxing aficionado did seem to think that Marquez would give Pacquiao some trouble – but does anyone even listen to Teddy Atlas anymore?
Pacquiao v. Marquez III could’ve been a great fight -- if it happened right after Pacquiao v. Marquez II -- when the latter fighter still had something left in the tank, but alas, it never materialized.