The Neutral Corner

Join Robert Cassidy with ringside seats in the world of Boxing.

HBO's 24/7: Pacquiao-Marquez, episode 1

 We wrote that the opening of Mayweather-Ortiz sizzled. This opening was just as effective, but in a far more subtle way.

Best spoken line, Juan Manuel Marquez: "I think that is why I want this fight, why I've always wanted this fight and it's like a thorn in my side that I want to pull out."


Freddie Sez: "Everything in Manny Pacquiao's life is because of boxing. He knows that and he understands that. It's still what he does best. And he hasn't forgotten that."

Nacho Time: "Boxing is traumatic, difficult. But Juan enjoys it because on the other side of the chessboard he's facing the champion of the world."

Nacho Time, part 2: "A bundle of dynamite that looked like a Filipino guy."

Best supporting cast: Jorge Linares, a world class fighter in his own right, saying that sparring with Pac Man is "the best thing that's ever happened to me."

The scenic view: Fantastic opening shots of Mexico and the Philippines. Also, great shots of Mexico City.

Best written passage:  Men seek power over one another, power that begets wealth, influence and in its strongest forms, immortality. (Aaron Cohen goes deep, in the philosophical sense and the baseball sense.)

Training days: Pac Man with the medicine ball and the entire agility workout.

Not wild about the shifting in and out of focus at the beginning.

Also not wild about Manny making entourage members spar for his entertainment, even though neither man threw a real punch. I guess they have to earn their keep.

In the footage from their first fight seven years ago, Manny Pacquiao looks like he's 15 years old.

Loved that Pac Man consoled Linares after the loss. Manny looked sincerely disappointed for his sparring partner. He didn't care that Linares'  blood was all over his shirt.

Loved how they named the Romanza gym, combining the names of Gilberto Roman and Daniel Zaragoza, both of whom I covered in my days back at The Ring magazine.

Never like it when the guys who don't climb in the ring talk tough, like Alex Ariza, saying he would be surprised if the fight goes three rounds.

Tags: HBO , HBO's 24/7 , Juan Manuel Marquez , Manny Pacquiao

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