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Pacquiao-Marquez IV: Who’s More Capable Of Delivering Physically?

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Well, they’ve fought three times, there’s 36 rounds between them and it still cannot be agreed upon as to who the clear winner was in any one of their three fights. Yes, I’m talking about all-time greats and legends Manny Pacquiao 54-4-2 (38) and Juan Manuel Marquez 54-6-1 (39). And this Saturday they’ll meet for the fourth and probably final time of their Hall of Fame careers. Then again.. maybe not? If Marquez gets a decision in a fight where the winner is not absolutely inarguable, they’ll fight a fifth time. Any win by Pacquiao (no matter how controversial) ends the series.

As for who won their previous three fights, I might as well weigh in on how I saw them in generalities since they were so close. The first fight if forced to pick a winner I’d go with Marquez because other than the first minute and a half of the first round, Marquez exhibited the better ring generalship and diversity. However, I have no issue with the fight ending in a draw. As for the rematch, I think that the knockdown scored by Pacquiao was the deciding factor. I don’t have any problem with the decision but if someone else saw Marquez as the winner by a point I’m fine with that too. In regards to the first two fights I think it’s fair to say that there’s a compelling case on both sides for either fighter as to who deserved the nod.

However, I part ways on the third fight. When Pacquiao and Marquez last met it was Marquez who fought his fight and exhibited the better offense and defense. If there were 15 clean punches landed during that bout, Marquez landed 11 of them. In summary, I think there’s a strong case for either boxer as to who won the first two fights, but not the third. So in essence, it is Marquez who has scored the only clean victory of the trilogy despite trailing 0-2-1 in the series.

What hasn’t been mentioned regarding their first three fights is that they fought them four and three years apart and each one was at a higher weight. Obviously, they both changed in between 2004 and 2011. This time they’re fighting at basically the same weight as they did the last time, just 13 months ago. So it’s doubtful they’ve changed that much physically, at least not enough where one would hold a significant advantage over the other. With that said, I think the last fight is the one that will give us the best indication as to what will happen on December 8th.

When they last met Pacquiao admitted after the fight that he was surprised by Marquez’s strength and wasn’t sure that he was the stronger man. Luckily for Manny he’s the bigger puncher and will always be the bigger puncher, although it must be noted that Marquez is the more accurate puncher.

As for the matchup itself, I’ve heard and read countless opinions as to who has the style advantage. Now, I love styles and think they’re important as to how fights will unfold, but not so much this time. These two greats have seen each other three times and they both have an x for the others’ o and vice-versa. I believe this fight will come down to physicality more than style adjustments and foot placement.

In fighting Marquez, Pacquiao must impose himself physically and force Marquez to rush his shots and try to fight him off instead of getting set and then getting off with quick one-twos thus disrupting Manny’s aggression. Disrupting Pacquiao’s aggression is huge for Marquez and he had a lot of success doing that when they last met. When Marquez took the lead and got off first he forced Pacquiao to have to reset and this gave him time and space to either get away and avoid the impending rush from Pacquiao or reposition himself to go again. As of 2012, Pacquiao isn’t the supernova he once was. Manny is a little troubled and stymied when he gets hit cleanly now and tries to think his way through the fight which is a huge advantage for Marquez. Manny has to fight reactively and be instinctive or while he’s thinking and plotting, Marguez can roll and go and force Pacquiao to start working his way in again.

Marquez must throw straight shots and try to keep Manny off of him as much as he did during their last fight, thus forcing him to lunge and reach. Sure, Marquez can fight inside and even rumble with Pacquiao to a degree, but if he tries to make his living there he’ll open the door for Pacquiao’s left crosses and hooks from both sides. And as we saw in their rematch, a single knockdown can alter the fight in favor of Pacquiao.

This fight is gonna come down to who can force their will on the other guy more along with who’s more motivated and in better condition. They’re both very confident, but I believe based on their last fight, Marquez is probably more confident heading into this fight against Pacquiao than he was in the previous three, simply because of the success he had the last time. It seemed as if he had Manny talking to himself during patches of it and wholeheartedly believes he won it in the ring and on the scorecards. On the other hand, Pacquiao may not be as confident as he was prior to their last fight, and let’s face it, there’s more pressure on Manny because there is so much riding on it after his last fight with Timothy Bradley.

What makes handicapping this one so terribly hard is because of how they match up. They’re so evenly matched that it seems for one to dominate the other it’ll probably take one of them seizing the fight with their physicality. It may be rudimentary but, one of them is going to have to force the other to do what they don’t want to. The problem is they both have the strength and aptitude to neutralize the other but not enough to impose themself on the other, thus separating them in the eyes of the judges.

Going in we know Pacquiao wants to land the bigger shots and force Marquez to fight defensively and more or less make him wait to see what Manny is gonna do. If Pacquiao can do that, he’ll control the fight and Marquez will be left floundering as to what he can do in order to slow Pacquiao without getting too hurt, then hopefully assume command. As for Marquez, he needs to do exactly what he did the last time. That is, get off first and stymie Pacquiao, then move his feet a little before Pacquiao can reload and bring it again.

The one wild card in this fight is a stoppage set up by one big punch. Even though Marquez has a great boxing IQ (higher than Manny’s), he still has a tendency to want to war on the inside when he doesn’t need to. And that’s where he’s vulnerable. And although I realize it might be silly to say this about a guy who’s never been stopped, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that, feeling he’s got to make a real statement this time, Marquez could walk into something that he didn’t see.

It’s actually a simple strategy and breakdown in regards to what Pacquiao and Marquez must do to come out on top. The question is, who at this time has the stronger and better mindset, determination, conditioning and more of their physical tools left in the tank in order to separate one from the other in the eyes of the judges, because we all know how they’re going to try and conduct the fight? Will their bodies be able to perform up to the expectation of each ones’ mind and heart?

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

 

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Saul Sanchez Wins in Ontario, CA

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ONTARIO, CA- Saul Sanchez remained undefeated after a tumultuous battle against Mexico’s Fernando Saavedra to win by majority decision to the dismay of a small crowd on Friday.

In a battle of bantamweights at the Doubletree Hotel, it was Pacoima’s Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) who started quicker but San Luis Potosi’s Saavedra (7-6, 3 KOs) closed the gap in the latter half of the fight in front of a boisterous crowd of maybe 400 fans.

Sanchez nearly floored Saavedra in the first 20 seconds of the fight when a three-punch combination had the Mexican fighter wobbled. It spurred Sanchez to go on the attack, ultimately leading to a toe-to-toe battle.

The quicker hands and feet of Sanchez proved troubling for Saavedra, who needed the Southern Californian to stand still. That seldom happened in the first four rounds.

But though neither boxer seemed to tire, Sanchez began getting trapped against the ropes and allowing Saavedra to connect with powerful blows. The last three rounds were especially close and Sanchez was able to slip more blows than Saavedra. But each never ready to quit.

After eight bantamweight rounds, two judges scored it 77-75 for Sanchez and one had it 76-76 a draw. Sanchez was deemed the winner by majority decision.

Many fans were angry by the decision.

Other bouts

Corona’s Louie Lopez (5-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated with a solid performance over Bakersfield’s Ray Cervera (0-2), a resilient super welterweight. Lopez was able to use his quick left hooks to score in every round but Cervera had a good chin and was able to counter with rights. No knockdowns were scored in the four round fight and all three judges scored the fight 40-36.

Oscar Torrez (3-0, 1 KO) knocked down Richard Soto (0-1) in the last round to assure a victory by unanimous decision in an entertaining heavyweight fight. Torrez fights out of Rialto, CA and is trained by Henry Ramirez who also trains Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola. The two heavyweights seemed evenly matched for the first two rounds, with Soto having his best round in the second when he continually landed one-two combinations with good effect. But Torrez resumed control of the fight in the third by using the jab, then mixing up his attack. In the fourth round, Torrez unleashed a 10-punch barrage that dropped Soto in the corner. The fighter from Northern California got up and survived the round but was unable to turn things around. Two judges scored it 39-36 and another had it 40-35, all for Torrez.

Anthony Franco (3-1-1) took time to warm up before scoring a knockdown and defeating Kansas fighter Antonio L. Hernandez (1-4) by decision after four rounds in a super welterweight contest. In the third round, Franco slipped under a left by Hernandez who tripped and when he turned was met by a perfect left that knocked down the Kansas boxer. Though he wasn’t hurt, it changed the complexion of a close fight in favor of Franco who lives in Redlands, CA. All three judges scored it for Franco 38-35, 39-36, 38-37.

Tijuana’s Rafael Rivera (26-2-2, 17 KOs) ripped into Guanajuato’s Jose Ramos (11-15-1, 8 KOs) with a savage attack to win by knockout in the first round. A barrage of blows sent Ramos backward dangling over the ropes. Referee Ray Corona ruled it a knockdown and let the fight continue. Rivera resumed the attack and blistered the taller Ramos with blinding punches forcing the fight to be stopped at 1:51 of the first round. It was Rivera’s first fight since losing to Joet Gonzalez by split decision last July in Los Angeles.

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Pacquiao-Broner: A Perfect Fight for Pacquiao and the Good Guy Wins

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Various sites are reporting that eight division titlist Manny Pacquiao 60-7-2 (39) will meet four division title winner Adrien Broner 33-3-1 (24) in December or January with Manny’s WBA regular welterweight title on the line. The fight hasn’t been confirmed yet but here’s how you know it’ll happen, and that is the fight makes dollars and sense for the super-star involved and that’s Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao signed with adviser/promoter Al Haymon – with the hope of getting a rematch with Floyd Mayweather in 2019. Haymon is tied to Mayweather and Broner and most of the top welterweights in the sport – including world champions Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Manny lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in May of 2015 and has longed for a rematch ever since. And ironically, neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao want any parts of taking on a young gun boxer in his prime. Both Terence Crawford, the WBO title holder, and Errol Spence, the IBF titlist, would take apart and embarrass both of them and there’s a sound case to make that both would’ve been okay tangling with Floyd and Manny even during their prime.

However, Mayweather and Pacquiao are businessman first and fighters second at this time and that’s been the case for quite a while. Manny only has interest in facing Mayweather again because he seeks revenge and Floyd will be 42 and coming off a long period of being inactive by the time they face off. As for Mayweather, he’d rather partake in big money fiascos where he can continue to gouge the public in WWE gimmicks against elite MMA fighters like Conor McGregor, his last opponent, or McGregor’s recent conqueror Khabid Nurmagomedov.

The only real boxer Floyd would entertain fighting is Pacquiao, who at this stage is only a moderate threat to Floyd because Mayweather hasn’t been in the gym much and has been preoccupied with spending his money. That and Pacquiao has a style that Floyd knows he can handle and Manny holds a version of the welterweight title. Granted, Floyd would probably make more money facing Nurmagomedov and Pacquiao is more or less his plan B if Manny gets by Broner. The problem with Mayweather facing Nurmagomedov is that Nurmagodev’s MMA fights don’t attract big interest and just maybe after the McGregor farce, both boxing and MMA fans are fed up with Mayweather’s faux fights and rip-offs – and with him then rubbing it in their faces by bragging how much money he made. So perhaps fans have wised up and will only consider paying to see Floyd fight another boxer – therefore Pacquiao becomes relevant to him.

With it no longer a secret that Mayweather and Pacquiao are only interested in robbing the public, enter Adrien Broner. If there’s another fighter who has been rewarded with big fights after posting underwhelming performances every time he has faced an upper-tier fighter, I don’t know of him. Broner is 3-2-1 in his last six bouts, having faced two championship caliber opponents in Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia. He lost on the judges’ cards by a collective 16 points versus Porter and 14 against Garcia….in other words he didn’t compete and after the first third of those fights you could’ve turned to something else and you wouldn’t have missed a thing…other than Broner scoring a knockdown over a coasting and careless Porter in the 12th round.

Broner, 29, is a highly skilled boxer, and when he fights he shows flashes of what he could’ve been but never was. Adrien’s problem is he has a low boxing IQ and never cared to expand it. He’s let his weight balloon up and he’s lazy. Actually, Broner doesn’t like to fight and does it because he’s pretty good at it and he likes the notoriety it brings him. Other than that, he’s a contented loser and that makes him perfect for an aging Pacquiao.

When they get in the ring Manny can count on Broner fighting no more than 30 seconds per round and posing and loafing for the remaining 2:30. Adrien will talk up a great fight, saying he knows time is running out and he needs a sensational showing, but once again his words won’t translate into deeds…they never do. Pacquiao, knowing that a potential Mayweather rematch hinges on how he looks, will show up prepared and ready for battle. Manny has been around the block a few times and knows nothing will escalate the interest in another fight with Mayweather like a good showing and perhaps him being the first to stop Broner inside the distance.

Hopefully boxing fans won’t be asked to shell out PPV dollars to watch Pacquiao vs. Broner. But it’s boxing, so nothing should come as a surprise. The only given here is that Broner doesn’t hold any advantage over Pacquiao in size or skill, which isn’t normally the case with Manny. Moreover, he’s facing a fighter who will fold and break the first-time things get tough, and if we know one thing about Pacquiao it’s that he doesn’t make it easy for anybody. And I expect him to feed off of Broner’s weak constitution as the fight progresses. In addition to that this is the perfect good guy versus bad guy match up.

The one thing that might add intrigue to Pacquiao-Broner is that Broner is an easy guy to root against and a ton of fans would love to see nice guy Manny Pacquiao beat him up and humiliate him. And if the fight comes to fruition, count on that being how it unfolds. Yes, Pacquiao fights the perfect guy in order to set up a rematch with Mayweather and Broner will exit the ring a loser once again, only with a little more money to flush down the toilet.

Frank Lotierzo can be reached at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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Irish Jason Quigley Keeps NABF Title at Fantasy Springs

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INDIO, Calif.- Jason Quigley returned to fight in Southern California after nearly two years away and found it tough going in defeating Mexico’s veteran Freddie Hernandez by unanimous decision to retain the NABF middleweight title on Thursday.

Nearly every round was contentious.

Quigley (15-0, 11 KOs) had decided to train in England after spending several years in Southern California. Though he beat Hernandez (34-10, 22 KOs) he must have forgot how to fight inside as that’s where the troubles began at Fantasy Springs Casino. The fight was televised on ESPN.

After spending the first several rounds picking apart 39-year-old Hernandez from the outside, when the Mexican fighter crowded Quigley, the Irish fighter found it difficult to maintain his punch advantage.

Hernandez used his crafty inside work to both score and muffle the punches incoming from Quigley. In the sixth and seventh round the Mexican fighter began mounting considerable damage on his foes’ face. Whether it was weariness or some other factor, Hernandez was scoring big with well-placed left hooks and lead rights.

The crowd began shouting “Fred-die, Fred-die” as the veteran landed flush blows. A look of concern crossed Quigley’s face.

Both fighters looked tired by the ninth round, but the older fighter Hernandez somehow seemed fresher especially while fighting on the inside. Then Quigley began separating himself and scoring with pot shots. That seemed to stop the rushes of Hernandez.

In the final round Quigley’s fans began shouting his name and the Irish fighter though weary managed to fire some combinations while on the move. Both fighters were exhausted when the final bell rang.

One judge scored it 99-91, the other two had it 98-92 all for Quigley.

“I feel great, I knew coming in this was a big test for me,” said Quigley.

Yes it was.

Gomez

New York’s Eddie Gomez (22-3, 12 KOs) was supposed to be joined with his dad for the fight against Japan’s Shoki Sakai (22-9-2, 12 KOs) in Indio, but unexpectedly his father passed away this past weekend. The fight still went on.

Gomez won every round against the game Sakai who was trained by Mexico’s famed Nacho Beristain. The welterweight Gomez from the Bronx used his speed and movement to keep away from Sakai’s big blows. After eight rounds all three judges saw it 80-72 for Gomez.

“It was very hard. He (father) was supposed to come out Saturday night. He took a week off of work. He was supposed to fly out and Saturday was the day he had died,” said Gomez after the fight. “I got to bite down. He was in camp with me. He had his input. He would have been proud today. I love you pops.”

Other bouts

Coachella’s Rommell Caballero (4-0, 3 KOs) floored Hugo Padron twice to win by knockout at 1:25 of the first round in a super featherweight match. Caballero, the 19-year-old brother of former super bantamweight champion Randy Caballero, connected with a counter left hook during an initial exchange that sent Pardo to the floor. He got up tentatively and was met with a crisp right through the gloves for a second knockdown. Referee Tom Taylor took a look at Pardo and waved the fight over.

“My first fight on ESPN I just want to thank everybody. All I’m doing is training. I’m getting ready and staying sharp,” said Caballero who was a former sparring partner for Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. “Training with him (Gonzalez) is one of the greatest experiences I ever had.”

After losing most every round Ray Perez (24-10, 8 KOs) made a stand and connected with an overhand left that staggered Chimpa Gonzalez (19-3, 15 KOs) and then the Filipino fired another overhand left through the guard and down went Gonzalez. Though he beat the count, Gonzalez seemed light headed and when the fight resumed Perez connected with more blows and the fight was called at 2:15 of the seventh round. Perez was deemed the winner by knockout.

It was a rematch of a fight that took place last February at the same venue. In that contest Perez won by unanimous decision.

Gonzalez trained with Joel and Antonio Diaz in Indio for this match. And though the lanky lightweight was far ahead on the score cards, he seldom moved his head and paid for it. Before that, he was ahead by attacking the body of Perez who protected his body for the last three rounds. But once Gonzalez slowed Perez revved up his attack and finished Gonzalez.

In a featherweight clash Edgar Ortega survived a first round knockdown against Recky Dulay (11-4, 8 KOs) and rallied to win by unanimous decision after six rounds by scores 57-56, and 58-55 twice.

Southpaw lightweight Angel Ruiz (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out Dominican Republic’s Jonathan Fortuna (8-3) at 1:40 of the fourth round. Ruiz, 21, fights out of Tijuana, Mexico.

Super featherweight Elnur Abduraimov (2-0) knocked out Giovannie Gonzalez (5-3) at 2:38 of the second round. Abduraimov, 24, is originally from Uzbekistan.

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