Everyone on planet earth seems to agree that Manny Pacquiao will wipe the floor with Juan Manual Marquez when the pair meets in the ring on November 12. It’s one of those generally accepted facts, like gravity and two-plus-two equaling four. Anyone who actually gives Marquez a shot tends to either be an unapologetic hater of all things Pacquiao or a member of the Marquez household.
Well, add another name to the pro-Marquez side of the board, because Teddy Atlas firmly believes that Pacquiao won’t have as easy of a time against his longtime rival as some (read: everyone) may think. In fact, he’s actually standing behind the notion that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have an easier time defeating Victor Ortiz on September 18 than Pacquiao will Marquez.
“I think the tougher fight will be for Pacquiao. I think Mayweather will handle Ortiz. If Andre Berto could have him on the floor, than Mayweather will have a good chance to get him out with his speed, with his intelligence, with his counterpunching ability…” Atlas told Boxing Scene.
“The perception of the Pacquiao fight is different to me. Maybe, Marquez is getting old after all this tear-and-wear, maybe he is starting to get too slow, maybe he gets caught too easy. But one thing is no “maybe” – how he’s gonna act. And he’s gonna act like a damn warrior, like a champion, like a fighter. I think no matter what, he is forty years old or he is in ninety years old, in the middle of the winter or in the middle of the summer, Marquez will always give Pacquiao a tough fight. His style, his talent will make it a tough, a very tough fight for Pacquiao.”
Oh, Teddy. Where to begin?
First of all, there is a reason why Marquez is being given less than no shot against Pacquiao by every single person who has ever watched boxing. That reason, for the record, is common sense.
While Marquez has put together nice career for himself, it doesn’t even remotely match up to the all-time great record that Pacquiao has carved into boxing lore. Over the past five years, in particular, the Filipino champion has gone head-to-head with, and legitimately destroyed some of the biggest and brightest stars that the sport has had to offer.
And while some of Pacquiao’s success can no doubt be attributed to fighting over-the-hill fighters, that wasn’t the case for all of his wins.
Along the same lines, it’s important to remember that Marquez’s claim to fame is almost beating Pacquiao twice. Almost. The first time he got a draw thanks to a judge’s mistake and the second time he lost (albeit, it was close) fair and square.
So, really, even in his prime at his best, Marquez has proven that all he can do is challenge Pacquiao. And as anyone who has seen Marquez fight over the last two years can attest to, the man is no longer at his best.
The second important point to tackle is the idea that Mayweather will have an easier time beating Ortiz than Pacquiao will beating Marquez. Now, this may very well end up being true, but it’s not the smart bet. Ortiz is 10 years younger than Mayweather and has slowly but surely made a name for himself in the recent past. Sure, he’s had some hiccups along the way like most young fighters typically do, but to dismiss him because “Berto had him on the floor” is ridiculous.
When you factor in all of Mayweather’s rust from not fighting for such an extended period of time (except through his lawyers, of course), the idea he’ll simply wipe the floor with Ortiz becomes even more unlikely. Again, that’s not to say it can’t happen, rather it’s just taking note of the fact that it’s improbable.
Atlas has said some pretty kooky things over the last few years, so this is hardly surprising. Still, it’s a little hard to believe that any knowledgeable boxing aficionado can actually utter the suggestion that Mayweather will have an easier time versus Ortiz than Pacquiao will versus Marquez with a straight face.