A certain Manny Pacquiao bandwagon has sprung from out of the woodwork over the last few months.
Because everyone knows that he will inevitably crush Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12 when the pair meets up for a third and final match-up, every single person following the proceedings has taken to pointing out why Marquez stands no chance.
Well, Pacquiao himself has decided to jump aboard the bandwagon. During a recent interview with Gareth A. Davies ofThe Telegraphthe No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world took to making his case on why he’ll manhandle (my word, not his) his competitor in less than two weeks.
"Which of us has improved more? I have improved a lot. I am a more complete fighter than when we fought previously. I am now a two-fisted fighter," Pacquiao said.
This is true. Some would so far as to argue that it was in fact Pacquiao’s wars with Marquez that eventually made him evolve into the fighter we’ve seen over the last few years. Prowess with the right hand, positioning, stamina and accuracy are all areas in which the Filipino champion has experienced improvements over the somewhat recent past.
"My right hand is as potent, as powerful and as dangerous as my left. I have as much confidence in my right as I do in my left.”
Trainer Freddie Roach acknowledged his fighter’s evolution.
"Marquez will be surprised when he faces this version of Manny. He no longer fights in one direction or with one hand," Roach said. "Manny has become a complete fighter.
"Manny has so many more weapons than the last time they fought."
The interesting question to think about in response to Pacquiao and Roach’s assertions, however, is: does any of it really matter?
Keep in mind, when Pacquiao and Marquez initially clashed the former was able to knock the latter down multiple times in the first round. And although Marquez did show a lot of heart in the way that he fought back and made a legitimate match out of it, Pacquiao deserved to win. If the judges had counted the scores correctly -- which it was later admitted they hadn't -- the current No. 1 pound-for-pounder would have emerged victorious.
End of story.
On the second go-around, Marquez made a real fight out of it. Many pundits and fans have argued that he deserved the judges’ decision, and the statistics backed that notion up. However, the judges made their call, there were no mistakes and – that’s just how the boxing world works.
So, for those keeping track at home, one-trick pony Pacquiao, with only his left hand was able to “rightfully” beat Marquez twice. And if you believe Roach, he wasn’t even giving it a hundred percent through in those matches.
"The last two times they fought, Manny got complacent after knocking Marquez down," he said. "Instead of fighting his own fight, he followed Marquez and began fighting his fight - big mistake."
Big mistake or not, there’s no getting around d the fact that Pacquiao was better than Marquez back then, and he’s still better than him now.
The Filipino champion’s evolution as a fighter doesn’t change anything, it just makes his inevitable victory on November 12 all the more certain.