IT WAS way past midnight in Las Vegas but the Manila-based scribes covering the fourth Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight were still wide awake and engaged in an animated discussion.
The group, composed of Abac Cordero, Nick Giongco, Roy Luarca and Gerry Ramos, did not have a common prediction. Three of them said the fight will end by KO while the lone dissenter, Gerry Ramos, predicted a stoppage.
From the MGM Grand, venue of the fight, here are their thoughts:
“The fight will be close until the knockout comes. I’m predicting a Pacquiao knockout because I can’t root for Marquez,” said Cordero of Philippine Star.
“It’s going to be a tough, close fight but I can foresee Pacquiao winning by knockout within the first seven rounds,” said Giongco of Manila Bulletin.
“The fight is going to be very close. I can see it end in the late rounds by stoppage, in Pacquiao’s favor,” said Ramos of Spin.ph.
The Inquirer’s very own Luarca said “Pacman will win by knockout.”
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Meanwhile, here are the thoughts of Manila-based analysts:
“Pacquiao will win by a convincing decision this time. He has to outwork Marquez and avoid falling prey to the Mexican’s counterpunching,” said lawyer Ed Tolentino of Manila Times and Spin.ph (On television, Ed said JuanMa’s face will be so badly smashed even his dogs won’t recognize him when he goes home).
“If Marquez does not run, yes there may be a knockout. Manny is out to prove to everyone he’s still the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world,” said Pato Gregorio, Abap executive director.
“I am with Chito Villavicencio of Flying V, Martin Narvasa and my older brother JJ Vargas. The sentiment is, definitely we all want Pacquiao to win. We will be putting our money on a 10th round TKO,” said Ricky Vargas, Abap president.
“There could be a knockout within the first 8 rounds, but if both men are still on their feet at the end of the eight rounds, this fight will end in a decision,” said Virgie Romano, Abante sports editor, who didn’t say who will win.
“There will be a knockout if the two protagonists live up to what they are saying. Marquez has been downed many times before but never knocked out. Pacman has been knocked out twice before, so he should know how it feels. Hence he will do everything not to be knocked out again. On second thought, I don’t think this fight will end in a knockout,” said Teddy Reynoso, boxing researcher of Solar Sports.
“The 12th round will end with the boxing rivals still standing. The judges will have much difficulty figuring out the winner,” said Zaldy Perez, Abante sports columnist.
Our condolences, by the way, to Zaldy, also known as Flor Perez on television, whose father Fortunato M. Perez passed away yesterday after a lingering illness. He was 85.
The deceased is survived by wife Remy Quimlat and other Perez children Ric and Chona, Totoy and Gyrlyn, Bingbong and Nanette, Ed, Rose (Nene) and grandchildren.
His remains lie at the Perez residence in Morong, Bataan. Interment will be announced later.