IT APPEARS that Manny Pacquiao is left with no other choice but to fight “El Dinamita” Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time this December—either in Las Vegas or in Mexico, JuanMa’s territory where the Pacman stands to save $7 million in taxes.
Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, who lost to the fighting congressman about two years ago, is out of the picture since he refuses to fight at a lower catch weight.
The undefeated Tim Bradley, on the other hand, has two things going against him. First, he is a big pay-per-view flop and second, he has priced himself double—way above what the fight promoter wants to pay him.
As for Floyd Mayweather Jr., well, who knows? Maybe next year.
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To be honest, the thought of another Pacquiao-Marquez thriller kind of gives me a chill.
Even Manny’s own trainer Freddie Roach admits he’s wary. He said in a recent interview that Marquez is a smart, intelligent fighter who also has speed. In this interview, Roach admitted for the first time that in all of the three Pacquiao-Marquez fights, he failed to solve Marquez’s “right hand lead” and to this day, this remains their biggest problem and El Dinamita’s biggest advantage.
Unless he solves this problem and unless Manny trains really hard for this fourth fight with Marquez, Roach said the eight-division world champion could lose.
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“What’s a right hand lead?” I asked boxing expert Quinito Henson.
“A southpaw uses it a lot, first punch in a combination, could be a jab but usually a straight,” he replied.
But what has actually been unsolvable he said, is not the right lead, but Marquez’s counter right straight.
“Marquez is a counterpuncher. Since he’s right-handed, he jabs with his left. Sometimes he uses a right lead to start a combination. It’s the counter right straight down the pipe that Manny finds hard to elude,” Quinito explained.
He believes “It could be very dangerous” if the projected fourth fight is staged in Mexico.
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When Meralco governor Mon Segismundo announced that the Bolts would be parading a “dazzling new throwback (or retro) uniform this season, the image that came to my mind was that of Mac Cardona, Sol Mercado, Chris Ross and the rest of the Bolts wearing very short shorts.
After all, that’s the only retro item in a basketball uniform that I can think of.
But Mon was quick to erase the vision. “The 2012-2013 uniform edition of the Bolts will relive the glorious days of the Meralco team in the 70s but without the short shorts and the buckles,” he said, describing the new jerseys as authentic replicas worn by the team, then called the Reddy Kilowatts, during the MICAA days.
“Just looking at the Meralco players in those bright orange uniform will surely make the fans nostalgic,” he said. “We want to preserve our heritage.”
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According to Mon, the Bolts’ rebuilding process is going very well. “Rookie Cliff Hodge promises to be a significant factor. Ryan Buenafe will add more grit and determination while Mac, Sol and Chris will continue to be the team’s 1-2-3 punch. I expect a better Bolts team this season,” Mon said, confirming that Asi Taulava has chosen to play in the Asean Basketball League next season, although they offered him a two-year contract.
“We offered Asi a fair, competitive and equitable two-year package. While we retain our rights to him in the PBA, he is lost to the Bolts and the pro league,” said Mon.
According to reports, Asi was offered a heftier 3-year contract by San Miguel in the ABL.