Pacman easy pick over JMM
With everyone seemingly so certain of a victory for Manny Pacquiao when he meets Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time in Las Vegas on Nov. 13 (Manila time), I wondered if this was actually the consensus among experts.
On the eve of their departure for Los Angeles, where the eight-division world champ is training, I asked each of the boxing scribes covering the Trilogy if Marquez stood a ghost of a chance against Pacquiao who is several years younger, faster, hits harder and has grown in confidence since their last fight close to four years ago.
“Since it’s Halloween, yes, he has a ghost of a chance. Seriously, yes. Marquez is always at his best versus Pacquiao. I will not predict the result, but I’m hoping for a big TKO win for Pacquiao,” Abac Cordero of the PH Star said. “Strange things happen in boxing. But seeing Manny recently, he really doesn’t want to leave any doubts this time.”
“Marquez is a “kontrapelo” of Manny. He’s the only one who came close to beating the pound-for-pound king over the last six years. Against Pacquiao, JuanMa’s confidence level goes higher.”
“In boxing anything can happen,” was Star columnist and AKTV broadcaster Qunito Henson’s opening line.
“Marquez’s style isn’t easy to break down and Manny had difficulty in their first two fights. But Manny’s bigger, quicker, stronger and smarter now. This fight is personal because Marquez has disrespected Manny and Freddie Roach wants him to pay for it. “
According to Quinito, Marquez is a proficient clinician, very calculating and technical. “He picks his punches while Manny will smother him with volume firepower. Watch for Marquez’s right lead and Manny’s overhand right hook. Manny will win inside six rounds,” Quinito predicted.
Manila Bulletin’s Nick Giongco, on the other hand, gave Manny seven rounds to end the fight.
“Of course Marquez stands a good chance to win. But in the end, Pacquiao will erase his ghost,” Nick said.
Although the Inquirer’s Francis Ochoa doesn’t give Marquez much of a chance against Pacquiao, he believes the Trilogy will be “the most entertaining, action-packed Pacman bout in the last two years.”
“And the action is going to be two-way… But I don’t think Marquez can survive Pacquiao this time. The fight might not even go the distance,” said Francis.
But according to Abac, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum may not be too confident of a Pacman victory.
“If Arum is so sure of a Pacman win, why did Top Rank put a rematch clause in the contract. And that’s only if Marquez wins.”
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud was a bit puzzled when he received a text message from a sports columnist the other day asking for the mobile phone numbers of several players and coaches. The texter requested for the numbers of Petron Blaze coach Ato Agustin and his players, the entire Talk and Text coaching staff and players and Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
“Do it as a favor for me. Your staff has not replied,” wrote the texter who identified himself/herself as me.
The commissioner forwarded some of the numbers the texter wanted which were in his personal directory. The rest of the task, he passed on to his executive secretary Coy Perez who most likely condemned me for being so demanding.
Imagine my temerity to ask the commissioner for phone numbers of whole teams.
Later that day, I got another SMS from a player agent who was verifying if I was really asking LJ Moreno, now Mrs. Alapag, for phone numbers. And I don’t even know LJ’s phone number.
If it’s not my phone number that registers on your mobile, please do not entertain such inquiries. Thank you.