Azn Badger's Blog

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Thoughts On Pacquiao-Marquez III

Pictured: Marquez lands an overhand right against Pacquiao's eye socket.

It’s funny, in the wake of Juan Manuel Marquez’ defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao this past Saturday night, the term “robbery” has been making the rounds throughout the boxing community.

I finally had a chance to see the fight myself, and to be perfectly honest, I saw no robbery.

Robbery is what happened to Paulie Malignaggi in Texas.

Robbery is what happened to Roy Jones in Seoul.

Robbery is what happened to Pernell Whitaker virtually every time he stepped in the ring with a big name opponent.

What happened to Juan Manuel Marquez this past Saturday, was, in my eyes; nothing more than a very close decision loss.

That’s all.

I was actually rooting for Marquez from the get go, and though he succeeded in making Pacquiao look pretty bad at times, he did so at a measured pace that simply couldn’t earn him the win in a 12 round fight.

Throughout the night, Marquez traded rounds with Pacquiao through careful distancing and punch placement.

Pacquiao would attempt to charge in or circle around him with punches, and Marquez would cleverly step just out of range and throw combinations in response.

Few could argue that Marquez landed the more picturesque punches throughout the fight, however as impressive as these were, at times it felt like he was fighting a third of every round.

I hate to say it, but Pacquiao won on my card by virtue of activity and volume punching.

While I tend to favor clean and effective punching when it comes to judging rounds, seeing Pacquiao work from bell to bell with constant combinations was what got him the “W” in my book.

In essence, Marquez remained competitive throughout, however he let too many rounds slip into “either/or” territory.

I had 2 rounds on my card that could’ve gone either way, the first and the sixth, however in judging from my gut; I only awarded the first to Marquez.

In the end, I had Pacquiao winning 115-113.

I don’t know if it was due to physical or psychological reasons, but to me it seemed like Marquez eased off a bit from the 10th on.

I still thought he did enough to win the 11th, though I think we can all agree that, even if he felt he was winning, he likely should’ve imposed his will on Pacquiao just a little bit more throughout the fight.

I know Nacho Beristain was telling him he was winning, so if what he did was a conscious decision, I bet he’s kicking himself over it right about now.

I’m not a big fan of punch stats, as I feel that since official judges aren’t given access to them, they really shouldn’t figure into the proceedings as much as a simple “face value” evaluation, but in the case of this fight I can’t help bring them up.

When Marquez fought Floyd Mayweather, he threw 583 punches and landed only 69.

While one can argue that the reason he threw close to 600 punches was because he needed to “shotgun” his punches in order to land the scant few he did, I find it interesting that he only threw 436 last Saturday night.

Out of those 436, he landed an impressive 138.

The point I’m trying to make, is that Marquez likely should have stepped up the pace in fighting Pacquiao.

As I said before, he seemed to do a lot of waiting in the fight, picking his punches, which proved to be a very effective tactic, but also resulted in him giving away rounds simply due to the intermittent nature of his offense.

When he was in control, he was quite commanding, landing clean punches and putting Pacquiao’s feet out of position, however in between all of this, Pacquiao filled the gap with constant punching.

Marquez threw 150 more punches in a fight in which he lost every round, which is the same effort he likely should’ve brought to this fight.

I fully acknowledge that this entire article is based on my personal opinion, and not any sort of facts.

Any case you could make for Marquez winning is likely as strong as, or stronger than any you could make for him losing.

This fight was very much a case of a snare drum versus a tympani.

One rattles off beats with constant, machine gun rhythm, while the other blasts out booming tones in time with the beat.

Both bring a sweet sound to the table, but it’s up to the ears of the listener to decide which one stands out most.

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Manny Pacquiao Defeats Juan Manuel Marquez Via Close Decision

Pictured: Marquez chasing Pacquiao with a left hook.

Unfortunately, I was out of town helping out on a production of Hapstance Films, so I’ve yet to actually see this fight.

Seems like I’m always busy come fight night….

Rest assured, I’ll likely post my thoughts on the bout here at a later date, as I heard the result was close to the point of being controversial.

Stay tuned!

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Sorry, Went To Portland.


Sorry, had to leave town to go lend a hand on a video production.

Regardless, at least you got a funny Far Side cartoon out of it.

That being, make sure to watch Pacquiao-Marquez for me, as I’ll likely be missing it!

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III Prediction


Well, it’s finally here.

After over 6 years and 2 hotly contested contests, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are finally going to step into the ring for their long awaited rubber match.

Their first match, contested at Featherweight, ended in a draw; with Marquez being floored 3 times in the first stanza, only to dominate the remainder of the fight via brilliant offense and mid-fight adjustments.

The result of the fight is debated to this day, with many believing Marquez deserved the nod, myself included.

The second fight resulted in an extraordinarily narrow split decision victory for Pacquiao, with a 3rd round knockdown of Marquez creating the 1 point advantage needed to prevent a second draw.

Much the like their first clash, the result of Pacquiao-Marquez II is heavily disputed.

In the intervening years since their last battle, back in 2008, both Pacquiao and Marquez have been among the most productive fighters of their era.

As I’m sure you’re already aware, Pacquiao has gone on to ascend in weight with unprecedented success, snagging titles in every class from Lightweight to Jr. Middleweight.

Along the way he utterly dominated a wide range of “name” fighters including the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, and most recently, Shane Mosley.

I mentioned I hate Ricky Hatton, right?

It’s worth noting however, that despite the fact that all of Pacquiao’s opponents post-2008 were of world class ability, one has to take into account that “were” is most certainly the operative word in that statement.

Without exception, all of the above fighters were either coming off of physically taxing, disastrous losses, or were altogether well past their prime.

A Shane Mosley that calls it quits and runs for 12 rounds is a Mosley that would likely get it’s ass beaten by it’s former iteration for ruining their collective “warrior” image.

That’s not a knock on Pacquiao’s esteemed legacy, as at 33 he has already achieved a number of feats that likely will never be repeated in the sport, but it is a knock on Bob Arum and the business of boxing.

In short, it’s readily apparent that as Pacquiao’s status as an international celebrity has grown, so has his management’s desire to direct his career with a safety first/money grabbing agenda.

Superman never would’ve been made without Marlon Brando.

Batman never would’ve been made without Jack Nicholson.

Similarly, Bob Arum has paired Pacquiao with known fighters that put asses in the seats rather than the hungry young bucks that as destined to play second fiddle to the current crop of elite fighters until they grow old or retire.

Such is the case with virtually every mega-champ in boxing history, however that fact alone does not absolve Arum and his boys from their blatant exploitation of the sport and it’s fan base alike.

That being said, Marquez’ post-2008 career may not have been as flashy or as groundbreaking as Pacquiao’s, but it’s been thrilling nonetheless.

Just 6 short months after his loss to Pacquiao in their second match, Marquez moved up in weight to Lightweight.

Beginning with an unprecedented knockout of Joel Casamayor, Marquez quickly installed himself as a force to be reckoned with in the division.

While back to back victories over Juan Diaz would be soon to follow, as well as over the tough but mercurial Michael Katsidis and unheralded Likar Ramos, in late 2009 Marquez would jump 2 weight classes, to Welterweight, for a horribly one-sided decision loss to Floyd Mayweather.

The fight was kind of like this, but ALL NIGHT LONG.

Many, myself included, felt that Marquez was largely outsized in the Mayweather bout, however given the prodigious nature of Floyd’s boxing skills, personally I don’t think the weight would’ve mattered.

Oddly enough, the controversy of the Mayweather weight issue has arisen once again, as tomorrow night’s rubber match is also to be contested at Welterweight.

While the issue of weight is no doubt an issue many cite as one (of many) factor(s) that will likely lead to Marquez’ defeat tomorrow night, in all honesty I think of it as very much a minor issue cast alongside a host of more important ones.

True, Marquez’ only other performance at Welterweight saw him lose every round and even get dropped once in the process, however one has to bring into consideration the fact that Marquez took that fight on only a few months notice, not to mention he was fighting a pure boxer with a penchant for making people look bad.

In other words, he took it upon himself to not only fight a stylistic mismatch, he also had to craft himself a Welterweight body within a single training camp.

This time however, Marquez was given the opportunity to take part in a tune-up match with Likar Ramos this past July, contested at Jr. Welterweight.

...Which only lasted 1 round and seemed a little fishy at that.

What I’m trying to say here, is that, while he likely isn’t nearly as comfortable at 140+ as Pacquiao is, he’s had much more time to work his way up to the weight the right way.

At least, one would assume that’s how a professional athlete would go about doing things.

That being said, as much as I love Marquez as a fighter, in all honesty I don’t think he’s going to be able to pull off a victory tomorrow night.

At 38 years of age, Marquez is noticeably slowing, and while his ability to adjust and trade punches in the pocket is legendarily formidable, I think Pacquiao’s slippery footwork is going to get the better of him.

To me, Pacquiao’s lucid footwork and ability to create angles are his greatest gifts as a fighter.

At the same time though, both Pacquiao and Marquez have a remarkable willingness to stand and trade punches just a little bit longer than most.

In their previosu fights, whenever the 2 of them decided to exchange combinations, Marquez was highly competitive due to his clever punch placement and overall ruggedness.

The Pacquiao of old was far too willing to play into Marquez’ game, resulting in the rough and tumble fights we’re all fortunate to have tucked away in the annals of boxing history.

In their second fight though, Pacquiao’s finest moments saw him clocking Marquez on his way in, and gracefully slipping behind him.

Given Pacquiao’s steady evolution into an undeniably better and more technically sound fighter in the years since he and Marquez’ second bout, it’s hard for me to see Freddie Roach allowing his fighter to make the same mistakes that even a blog writer like me noticed before.

I expect Pacquiao to work his angles and either box his way to landslide 12 round decision, or failing that, an 8th round TKO.

Though I wholly expect him to take some severe punishment, I don’t see Marquez getting a 10 count on the canvas.

Much like how you could count on Arturo Gatti’s face starting to swell up and/or bleed during his walk from the dressing room, Juan Manuel Marquez is one of those fighters that isn’t really in the fight until you knock him down.

Despite Pacquiao alone putting him to the canvas 4 times over 2 fights, the guy’s never been knocked out, and I honestly don’t think it’ll ever happen via a 10 count.

Congratulations, you've succeeding in pissing him off.

Going down for Marquez seems almost like a wake up call, like a signal to him that he’s gotta’ change his tactics or pick up the pace.

I sincerely hope Marquez wins tomorrow night, as most boxing trilogies/series arise due to a need to establish a clear victor due to both men trading victories.

Given that neither man won their first fight, it’d make for a good story if Marquez got a win in there somewhere.

Anyway, there’s my prediction.

Pacquiao by UD, or failing that, an 8th TKO stoppage.

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B-Hop Loses Title Via 2nd Round Bodyslam

Pictured: Bernard Hopkins getting tapped on the chin by a jab from Chad Dawson.

I know the phrase gets tossed around by ignorant fans all too often these days, but I’ve gotta’ say it:

Jesus-fuck man, boxing’s in trouble.

As of last night, we now have 2 consecutive pay-per-view events ending via bizarre, and wholly dissatisfying circumstances.

Last time it was Floyd Mayweather sucker punching an thoroughly unprepared and unnervingly bipolar Victor Ortiz.

Every time I see this, I hear Manny Steward in my head going "Aw..........."

This time, it’s Bernard Hopkins sustaining a shoulder injury via an accidental throw at the hands of Chad Dawson, resulting a questionable TKO that will likely be overturned within the next few weeks.

While Manny Pacquiao will always draw a huge audience, particularly among the Filipino demographic, with so many boxing main events degenerating into disappointing circus-like tomfoolery, it’s hard to say whether his rubber match with Juan Manuel Marquez will be able to generate significant interest with the UFC heavyweight title match being aired on public television during the same time slot.

For a life long boxing fan like me, this is a no-brainer, but for many other typical fans of “combat sports,” it’s hard for me to see people turning down a free event over a pay one, especially given the high-profile nature of the UFC bout.

....As well as the "bro-ey" nature of most UFC fans.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as excited as the next guy for Pacquiao Marquez III, in fact probably more so; but it’s hard for me to picture Marquez getting his sea legs at Welterweight overnight.

That’s a topic for a different day though.

Getting back to the matter at hand, the B-Hop and Dawson fight lasted around 5 minutes, and from the looks of it, Dawson was likely going to coast to a decision victory.

B-Hop’s one of my favorite fighters, and I’d watch him fight even if he was in a wheelchair, but from the looks of things with Dawson, I didn’t see the same spark that I did in his fights with Jean Pascal.

His feet were flat, there was little spring in his step, and oddly enough; he looked stiff to me.

B-Hop doesn’t get stiff.

The old adage in boxing, is that when it comes to old age, your legs are the first thing to go.

I hate to say it, as we only got to see him for less than 2 rounds last night, neither of which he seemed to lose by more than a slim margin; but I feel like this sadly might be the last time we see B-Hop in the ring.

From what I could tell from the footage, the “bodyslam” that occurred in the 2nd round was the fault of neither man.

B-Hop charged in to clinch, Dawson ducked, and while B-Hop leaned on his back, Dawson stood up, or at most, shrugged; resulting in the old man getting lifted off his feet.

Pictured: B-Hop goin' for a ride.

Slipping off of Dawson’s back, B-Hop fell to the canvas and jammed his elbow, sending force up his arm; resulting in what doctors reports are now confirming as a dislocated shoulder.

Given B-Hop’s advanced age, it’s hard to see him recovering from an injury like that in time for another go in the ring to be feasible, hence my concern over the fact that this garbage-ass fight/debacle might be the last time we see The Executioner in action.

For whatever reason, referee Pat Russell declared “no foul” on Hopkins’ spill to the canvas, thereby ruling his inability to continue a TKO for boxing.

Now, I don’t mean to question the merits of a professional referee, but frankly; my understanding of the rules of boxing had me picturing the fight as either a technical draw on the grounds of no “boxing maneuver” being utilized to acquire the victory, or a no contest on account of the bout having ended before 4-5 rounds could be scored on the cards.

Pictured: B-Hop seen in a rare light: On the canvas.

That’s just me though.

In any case, the fight looked like it was well on it’s way to becoming the chessmatch it was foreseen as.

No significant punches were landed, but Dawson’s quickness and reach seemed to be the sort that could give B-Hop fits.

Despite everything I said about B-Hop’s legs looking kind of sluggish, the man is very much a late round fighter; so it’s entirely believable that he could’ve pushed Dawson to mentally check out the same way he did against Jean Pascal.

Unfortunately, the boxing Gods were not smiling last night, so we’re left instead with yet another oddity for the hall of disappointments and weird-ass decisions.

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Shane Mosley Can Beat Pacquiao… NOT.

I really don’t know how to feel about this match-up.

On paper Pacquiao vs. Mosley is basically supposed to be the big-budget event movie of boxing’s 2011.

What they don’t tell you though, is that this particular movie happens to be directed by Michael Bay, and thusly contains no substance whatsoever… and stars Shia LeButtFuck.

What I mean to say is, while the (manufactured) hype surrounding this fight is genuinely admirable; I find it difficult to view it as anything but yet another case of a damaged or declining fighter being tossed to the prime lion that is Manny Pacquiao.

It’s sad to say, but as much as I like/liked Sugar Shane, based on his performances in his recent bouts I.E. the one’s that have most of us viewing him as a CRIPPLED OLD MAN, it’s hard to picture him succeeding where others have failed.

Then again, it’s hard to argue that Mosley’s decent chin, caginess, and sneaky overhand right make him any less likely to beat Pacquiao than the chinless wonder that is Miguel Cotto, and the “I move my head… Sometimes” duo of Ricky Hatton and Antonio Margarito.

That being said, let’s take a minute to think on some factors that could potentially (but not likely) win the day for Sugar Shane:

1. Shane Makes It A Rough Fight

This one’s a long-shot, given that virtually no one has been able to put it into practice against Pacquiao; but Shane’s recent implementation of clinch heavy tactics under Brother Naazim’s watchful eyes, (which has NOTHING to do with his age…) is one that could do well to offset Pacquiao’s angles and smother his punch output.

Little Known Fact: Pacquiao Is Not "A Hugger." No Siree...

In theory, this would slow the pace of the fight in Shane’s favor, and potentially allow him to steal the bout by landing the more emphatic blows while initiating and breaking from clinches.

The problem with this strategy, is that Shane doesn’t exactly have the best skill-set to get in position to tie up Pacquiao with any sort of regularity.

He doesn’t have a jab and his legs aren’t what the used to be, so jabbing his way inside or turning Pacquiao are things I just don’t see him being able to do.

What Shane does have in this equation though, are decent counter-punching skills, decent timing, and a great, but potentially declining chin.

He’s not gonna’ win on punch output, and he’s not likely gonna’ win on ring generalship, but if he can make himself out to be the only man to land punches of any sort of note, or better yet; put the Filipino on the mat, there’s a slim chance he can pull off the upset.

In other words, regardless of whether he wins or not, Mr. Mosley is gonna’ have to walk through fire to reach the final bell.

2. Pacquiao Gets Greedy/Has An Off Night

If you thought the last one was unlikely, prepare to readjust your standards.

Manny Pacquiao is not the same fighter he was 7-8 years ago.

He’s cleaned up most of his quirks, and these days he’s one of the best finishers on planet.

In short, he’s become a very complete fighter that, while human; seldom makes the kind of careless mistakes that get fighters hurt.

Well, except in the Cotto fight… That was just plain dumb.  Dumb and AWESOME.

*Ahem!* ANYWAY, the point is, Shane Mosley has proven himself to be an extremely tough fighter that rarely gets rocked/put on queer street.

As old as he may be, he also happens to be a somewhat slipperier fighter than Antonio Margarito, who as we all know; is pretty much as easy to hit as… well, Antonio Margarito.

The point is, Shane is cagey enough to do things like take 3 minor shots to give 1 decent one, or even play opossum.

He's playing opossum, I swear.

Once again, this is pretty much as unlikely as one can imagine, but should Pacquiao bite for a clever feint, or get greedy and stay in the pocket just a moment too long, I believe the old adage says: “Anything can happen in boxing.”

3. Shane Fought The Wrong People

Floyd Mayweather and Sergio Mora.

While both of those guys are just about as far from each other on the skill range as humanly possible, the fact of the matter is; is that both guys make their living by making other fighters look bad.

Both are safety first counter-punchers that are hard to hit and offer little in the way offering counter opportunities to their opponents.

While it’s hard to say how true it is these days, in his prime Sugar Shane was a middle range boxer-puncher.

He excelled in tight exchanges, and indeed won most of his fights by being one step ahead in said exchanges.

While it’s hard to see him pulling ahead of Pacquiao in terms of tempo, the fact remains that in Shane’s most recent fights, the one’s that have most, including me; writing him off as an aging and declining fighter, he’s been fighting the kinds of guys that make not just him, but everyone look bad.

Pacquiao’s handspeed, punch output, and plethora of clever angles will very likely prove too much for Mosley, however in his heart I think this is exactly the kind of fight Shane wants.

He’s a puncher moreso than a boxer, and at this point in his career, I think even Shane knows his abilities as a fighter are more dependent on his opponent standing in front of him, making mistakes, and taking the wrong punches *cough!* MARGARITO! *cough!* than him genuinely outboxing them.

Very few fighters choose to retire at what one could call the “appropriate” time, both in terms of their physical health and financial situtations; and I don’t think Sugar Shane is any different.

I’ve written several articles in the past regarding my disdain for this particular matchup, largely due to my objection to Shane Mosley as being a relevant element of the welterweight division.

My only hope is that the fight ends up being more competitive than we all expect it to be, and that both men retain their faculties for the foreseeable future.

Seriously man, the last thing I wanna’ see is Sugar Shane knocked stupid by Congressman Pacquiao… That’d just be sad.

Like THIS sad...

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Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis Analysis

Word to the wise:

Never stay up past midnight to watch boxing when you’ve gotta’ be up for work at 5:30 in the morning.

Unfortunately for me, that’s just what I did last night; in fact I was so committed to seeing the action that I ended up watching the Spanish version of the telecast.

Oh well, at least the fight was good; commentary was fun too, even if I didn’t understand it.

Getting to the point, Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis was an intriguing, if not somewhat predictable matchup.

Marquez, despite his fairly recent climb in weight, has built up an incredible reputation for being a supremely talented boxer-puncher, with quite possibly the greatest capacity for making mid-fight adjustments of any fighter on the planet.

Despite an almost guaranteed tendency to get dropped at some point in most of his fights against A-level opposition, the man has a solid chin and has recently begun to favor mixing it up rather than stepping out of range as he used to in his youth.

Katsidis, coming off a brutal steamrolling of British prospect Kevin Mitchell, is the prototypical brawling infighter, complete with the requisite lack of head movement and elusiveness.

He telegraphs his shots like fuckin’ Samuel Morse, but just ’cause you can see the punches coming, doesn’t necessarily mean you can always avoid them.

Possessed of a solid punch, he has the power and physicality to overwhelm lesser fighters in the earlier rounds with his sometimes overly aggressive/energetic style, regardless of the significant drain on his stamina in the later rounds.

Though he’s been humbled by fighters with superior boxing skills in the past, his tenacity and rough fighting style are usually enough to give his opponents fits, particularly if their footwork isn’t sharp enough to keep him at distance.

You put all those factors I just listed for both fighters together, and the result of the fight is as elementary as 2+2 = 4.

That’s right.

I went to school.

I know numbers n’shit…

Anyway, as you may have guessed by now, the fight went a little something like this:

Katsidis came out swinging in the early rounds.

Marquez got dropped pretty solidly in the 3rd, moreso than probably either of the Pacquiao fights, only to battle back and survive the round.

Katsidis bullied Marquez for several rounds thereafter, controlling the flow of the fight, but absorbing a lot of shots for his troubles.

Eventually Katsidis began to slow sometime after the 6th round, putting the momentum of the fight firmly in Marquez’s hands.

In the 9th round, (the same round that Marquez previously stopped Juan Diaz in their first encounter) Marquez opened up with some savage combinations, staggering Katsidis and rendering his legs into wet fettuccine.

After a full minute of awkwardly stumbling about the ring, not throwing punches, nor really taking any, referee Kenny Bayless called an awkward end to the contest, citing Katsidis’ inability to continue as his reasoning for doing so.

Just about every point I listed above could’ve been determined about this matchup without ever having seen the fight.

Well, everything except the goofy ending.

Honestly, I found myself feeling that Katsidis, upon first being hobbled, was ready to go.

He was out on his feet for a minute or so, and the stoppage was indeed warranted given his inherent helplessness, however the timing of the stoppage was just plain awkward.

I like Kenny Bayless.

I’ve always joked that he’s the most passionate ref on the planet, screaming the count and seemingly brought to tears every time a fighter goes down in his ring; but in this case he waited far too long to call the fight.

A minute is a long time to be on queer street, but it’s also a long time for a professional brawler like Katsidis to recover.

In fact, if memory serves, I seem to recall Katsidis being in the process of throwing his first punch in over a minute at the time of the stoppage.

Like I said, perfectly legitimate stoppage, but horribly timed nonetheless.

*Ahem!* Anyway, let’s discuss some the technical elements of the fight, shall we?

Katsidis, while one-dimensional in many regards, demonstrated some truly effective infighting skills in this fight.

That’s saying a lot when faced with one of the craftier and more intelligent ring technicians of our generation.

His short hooks were fine tuned and razor sharp, perfectly befitting of his phonebooth fighting style.

Hell, if he hadn’t gone all in with his bullying tactics, and ate twice as many punches as he gave, I felt he could’ve eked out a slim decision from the judges.

Despite this, the Australian remains too predictable and open to counters to prove a significant threat to any of the elite fighters at Lightweight.

Like Arturo Gatti before him, he’s an entertaining TV fighter that will never be starved for opponents on HBO given his balls-out approach to fighting, however he’s barely a step above gatekeeper in terms of overall ability.

He’ll probably, quite literally, be bled dry by the sport and it’s unscrupulous promoters inside of 5 years.

Moving on to Marquez, the Mexican technician still remains at the top of his game despite being 37 years of age.

While Marquez put on a terrific performance in this outing, like the previous Pacquiao fight, he did so while absorbing a great deal of punishment, however intelligently.

While I wouldn’t call the nasty down that Marquez took in the 3rd to be a sign of a chink in his armor, I did find it alarming how shaken he was by it.

My roommate used to say:

“It’s a Marquez fight.  He isn’t even awake until he gets knocked down once or twice.”

While I find that to be true in most cases, (and hilarious) usually when the mighty Mexican gets floored, he comes back and trades with his opponent like he’s trying to make score a 9-10 for the round.

This time though, despite what others may say; I think Marquez got rocked pretty good.

The shot he took was a counter left hook on the point of the chin, and despite whatever degree of machismo he may have flowing through his veins, his legs couldn’t hide how frazzled he really was.

In either case, at 37 he’s still not looking old, even if he kisses canvas in most of his fights.

Enough about the down, let’s get back to the technical stuff:

As is always the case with Marquez, the finest elements of his game were his most subtle.

For instance, while fighters with better footwork most likely would’ve circled to avoid Katsidis’ infighting, Marquez stood toe to toe with him and traded, albeit in an intelligent manner.

Bowing at the waist, and placing his head out in front of himself, Marquez effectively crowded Katsidis’ punches, forcing him to reach around Marquez and taking a little something off of the impact.

Though Marquez would eat solid shots on his temples all night, his courage and toughness allowed him to remain focus amid the whirlwind of blows coming at him.

Another neat little element of Marquez’s performance, was his constant use of the jab.

In the early rounds, the jab was largely ineffectual; something that most of us could’ve predicted given Katsidis’ inherent toughness and propensity for rushing out the gate.

As the fight wore on though, Marquez’s jab started landing more often, and with more authority.

Much like what I said of Katsidis earlier, just because something is predictable, doesn’t mean the other guy is going to be able to avoid it every time.

More importantly though, the jab was serving the dual purpose of causing Katsidis to “reset,” and even stand him up when it landed particularly cleanly.

What I mean by “reset,” is that Katsidis displayed a habit of mechanically switching from offense to defense whenever Marquez would circle or step out of range.

Boxing is a combative sport wherein the main objective is to hit without getting hit.

The finest of boxers are the one’s that display a capacity to do both at the same time, seamlessly.

Katsidis is a fighter that shifts gears from offense to defense in a very visible manner, such that intelligent fighters like Marquez are able to capitalize on the transition period with well timed offensive flurries.

Needless to say, during the instances when Katsidis was clearly not in “fighting mode,” Marquez’s constant, and seemingly half-hearted jab, would suddenly spring to life and turn into a piston-like combination starter.

Anyway, I’m writing all of this from cloudy memories of last night, so I think I’ve just about run out of stuff to say.

For those that didn’t catch this one, I’d suggest finding a way to sit down and watch it, ’cause it really was a competitive and exciting bout, despite whatever I may have said about it.

In any case, see yah’ tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito Prediction

This is going to be what I like to call a “political” prediction.

That is to say, I’ll post my genuine, honest to God feelings as to what’s going to happen in the fight; but I’ll do so while mentioning some of the other potential outcomes.

In other words:

I’m hoping to make my prediction while covering my ass.

Anyway, here’s what I think:

Manny Pacquiao has demonstrated in his previous fights in the 140 lbs+ weight range, that his speed, tenacity, and chin have survived the climb in weight.

In Antonio Margarito, Pacquiao will be facing a naturally larger opponent, creating perhaps the largest size disparity he’ll have faced up to this point.

Despite the size issue, here are some of my thoughts Pacquiao as a fighter in general:

 

Manny Pacquiao, being awesome.

Manny’s greatest assets in my book, are his impeccable footwork; wherein he keeps his feet set and primed for leverage and power regardless of his positioning, his calculated exploitation of the obscure punching angles granted to him by his Southpaw stance, and his tendency to breach his opponent’s comfort zone for slightly longer stretches than most fighters are capable.

What I mean by that last statement, is that Pacquiao uses in-and-out tactics with his power punching; but with greater emphasis on the “in” than the “out.”

Most fighters dart in for a few shots, reset; and start from scratch.

Manny darts in for A SHIT TON of shots, changes angles, and comes in for some more; all while generally remaining (or at least feigning that he is) within his opponent’s perceivable punching range.

This results in many opponents chasing Manny in instances when he’s really not far enough away for such actions to be a viable option I.E. Ricky Hatton.

 

A little to the left Mr. Hatton. Jus' sayin'...

Lunging/charging fighter + Filipino with superior handspeed = Filipino with another KO notch on his belt.

In terms of punching angles, to my knowledge Manny’s best shots come straight down the pipe ala a Southpaw Kostya Tszyu, or swatting down from above with a right hook to the point of the chin.

In general, like any good middle range fighter, he aims to connect at the height of extension, though in his case he tends to aim for the chin with his hooks instead a broader target like the the temple or sinus.

 

Sorry to spam the Hatton pics, but you have no idea how happy I was to see his clinching ass flattened...

And you wonder why he’s been knockin’ fools out all these years?

Enough about Pacman, it’s time to show Antonio Margarito some respect:

 

Antonio Margarito, being awesome while pointing.

Antonio Margarito’s best assests are his granite chin, the tremendous volume of his punch output, and his capacity to continually build momentum throughout the fight.

The Tijuana Tornado has a chin, I don’t think anyone would argue that.

To date, Shane Mosley is the first and only fighter to knockout Antonio Margarito, in what was an incredibly one-sided affair.

Despite this, one has to take into consideration the fact that ‘ole Sugar Shane had to club the mighty Mexican across the jaw with overhand rights for nearly 8 rounds straight before his legs began to wobble.

 

9 rounds of THIS. Even Tony Zale would've gone down once or twice...

Make no mistake, water droplets can crack any rock given enough time, and in the case of Antonio Margarito, it took around 24 minutes of torrential downpour for it to finally happen.

The man was knocked out, yes; but in no way should that make anyone discount his ability to take punishment.

Moving on, Margarito is a very large Welterweight with average handspeed, but with a round-to-round punch output and well-varied repertoire of punches to make up for it.

He’s a classic example of the “Bionic Mexican (TM)”:

"I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle..."

A momentum and pressure based fighter with an incredible chin that loves to go to the body, but will gladly throw at whatever you show him in the meantime.

That being said, Margarito is an especially large example of the Bionic Mexican, particularly at his weight.

No doubt aware of this, Margarito stalks his opponents and keeps his gloves in their face all night until they mentally break down.

While said strategy often results in him eating a lot more shots than most trainers would like to see their fighters deal with, it also has the added benefit of causing fighters to fight on the move, forcing opponents with foowork issues to throw the majority of their punches from weak stances, thusly diminishing the power of their shots I.E. Miguel Cotto.

This was hard for me to watch. *Sniff* Cotto was my boy...

In terms of best punches, I have to say that I’ve always felt Antonio Margarito had a particularly nasty uppercut with both hands.

Given the length of his arms, I’d imagine it comes from below many fighters periphery, as well as reaches farther than most would expect; thusly resulting in a elusive and powerful punch that is hard to see coming.

"Hello, Golden Johnson." (2 minutes and 28 seconds later) "Goodbye, Golden Johnson."

Not only that, it should also be mentioned that said punch is usually backed up by about 20 other punches from several different angles.

Add it all up, and you have a whirlwind of solid shots from all angles, with one particularly nasty one hiding out somewhere just below.

Now then, let’s get to the prediction, shall we?:

Manny Pacquiao, UD or TKO round 6-8.

As with all of Manny Pacquiao’s fights since he started his journey North of 135 lbs, the only way I see him losing if the other guy gets to do “his thing.”

In the case of Ricky Hatton, I felt that if Ricky could only win if he could get his annoying ass “clinch and hit” game going.

He didn’t, and the result was one of the grandest blow-outs I can recall seeing on live TV.

 

Yay! No more clinching!

In the case of Miguel Cotto, I felt that if the stout Puerto Rican could stymie Pacman with his jab, and then play him into his left hook to the body, he might have a chance at taking the fight.

While Cotto managed to do both of these things, for about 10 seconds; he was ultimately unable to cope with the footwork and angles of Pacquiao, and was thusly hurt too early in the fight to build any sort of momentum.

 

... Not exactly the best way to win a fight there Mr. Cotto.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the comfort zone with Pacquiao.

In short, he denies his opponents of ever acquiring one for themselves over the course of the fight.

Fighters like Juan Manuel Marquez, that have the benefit of a sturdy chin and the capacity and to adjust mid-fight, as well as the willingness to stand and trade in order to weather the storm, are exactly the types of fighters that have what it takes to handle Pacquiao.

The boxing equivalent to yelling, "Get the fuck out my face, son!"

Bear in mind I said “handle,” not “beat.”

In Margarito I see a fighter that has all of the traits I just mentioned, except for the ability to adjust.

While I would never go so far as to say that Antonio Margarito is a one-dimensional fighter, (he’s not) I don’t see him as having the sufficient level of science in his fighting to take a step back and say:

“This isn’t working.  Let’s start over next round.”

As such, I have a feeling that this fight could end up being another case of Pacquiao doing his thing, while the other never gets a chance to show what he’s got… While eating an ungodly amount of punches.

While that is my gut feeling and my official prediction for the Pacquiao\Margarito fight, there are a few alternate scenarios I feel are worth mentioning:

First off, Margarito’s chin, coupled with his punch output; could in fact put Pacquiao in his place.

Unlike Ricky Hatton, whose rigid head and neck posture caused his damage to pile up prematurely, Margarito, much like his fellow contemporary Bionic Mexican brother Librado Andrade, is amazingly skilled at rolling with the punches.

Uh... Good job?

While Pacquiao’s hardest shots come straight down the middle, thusly negating this maneuver; said technique could allow the Tijuana Tornado to power through some of Pacman’s more superficial punches, thereby allowing Margarito to land some shots of his own, thusly turning quick potshots into full-blown exchanges.

Make no mistake, if Margarito can exchange with Pacquiao as he’s attempting to step in or out of range, the momentum factor could make for some interesting later rounds.

Another aspect of the fight to take into consideration, is the fact that neither fighter is known to clinch very often, if at all; and yet both display a vulnerability to the technique.

In the case of Margarito, the clinch was instrumental in Shane Mosley’s victory over him, as it allowed him to smother his punches, as well as land heavy shots on the way in without the danger of follow-up shots to contend with.

While I have yet to witness anyone able to successfully clinch with Pacquiao with any sort of regularity, my gut tells me he too would have issues contending with it.

He’s a middle-range fighter with impeccable and commanding footwork, meaning if you take those factors away from him, he’s left with a crippled offense and the fatigue brought on by the constant grappling.

While I honestly don’t see it happening, if Margarito really wants to win, (and lose the respect of his fans in the process) it would be interesting seeing him stoop to the level of using the methods of his previous conqueror to take on Pacman.

Truth be told, while clinching is supposedly a form of cheating according to the official rules of the sport, for this fight it would make a lot of sense for Margarito to try.

He’s got the height and wingspan to take full advantage of it, and the disparity in size would most certainly wear on Pacquiao, regardless of how deep his stamina reserves may be.

Anyway, after a long day of work this is just about everything I can think of to say on the subject of Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito.

I probably won’t be seeing this one live, so make sure to check it out for me!

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