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Predictions: Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
On Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez meet in the ring for a third time. Here are the picks by a collection of writers and fighters:
Holt McCallany, actor and fight fan: "This fight will not resemble the first two. Paquiao's greater size, his level of activity, and the fact that he is at the top of his game as the best fighter in the world point to an impossible task for Marquez, and a potential late-round stoppage."
Greg Logan, Newsday: "While the outcome of the previous two Pacquiao-Marquez fights was controversial -- a draw and a split decision by Pacquiao -- it's important to remember those two bouts took place at 126 and 130. Even then, Pacquiao knocked Marquez down a total of four times in those two fights. Now Pacquiao is fighting comfortably as a 147-pound welterweight and still has his power. Marquez had trouble moving up in his only previous welterweight bout, losing a lopsided decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. That's why he was able to get Pacquiao to agree to a 144-pound catchweight. But that won't help Marquez. He will give it his all but succumb to the superior power of Pacquiao, who will win by a 9th-round TKO."
Marcus Henry, Newsday: "Under normal circumstances, I'd give Manny Pacquiao the nod by unanimous decision or knockout. But Juan Manuel Marquez seems to have Pacman's number. That doesn't mean he'll win, because Pacquiao's size and speed will be too much to deal with. That said, Marquez has been wanting this opportunity for a long time, especially since the first two fights resulted in controversial decisions. Marquez will make Pacquiao work for this one, but Pacman will prevail on points, 115-113."
Jeff Mayweather, former boxer and trainer: "I feel it's a close fight and once again styles make fights. Sadly I have seen this situation in boxing before with fights already being decided before it happened. Like de la Hoya versus Felix Sturm. Floyd Mayweather has already easily beat Marquez, so is there any real interest? It puts Marquez in a very bad situation with the potential of the biggest fight ever being made in boxing -- Floyd versus Pac Man. so I see Manny winning by decision no matter what Marquez does inside the ring."
John Scully, ESPN analyst and former world title challenger: "I believe it's an interesting event but one that is set for Pac Man to win and move on to Mayweather. Manny is nowhere near the same guy that Marquez engaged in previous life-and-death struggles. The huge difference in power and motivation. I see Pac Man winning by wide unanimous decision or a late corner stoppage."
Jose Moreno, Newsday: "First four rounds will be competitive. Marquez will get in a couple of hard shots on Pacquiao, but the Mexican's stamina will eventually give out to Pac Man's relentless speed and power. Pacquiao wins by KO in the 7th round."
Mike Brooks, unbeaten lightweight, Oceanside: "I believe it will be a somewhat competitive fight. But at this point in Pac Man's career, I believe he's too fast and too strong for the intelligent sharpshooter Marquez."
Mario Gonzalez, Newsday: "It should be an entertaining end to the trilogy between two proud warriors. I think Pacquiao will prevail because I think he's faster, stronger and has more experience fighting at this weight. Wouldn't be surprised if there were a knockdown or two in the bout, but I'm picking Pacquiao in a 12-round majority decision victory. Let's see Pacquiao-Mayweather already!"
Bobby Cassidy, Newsday: "I expect this fight to start out very similar to the first two Pacquiao-Marquez fights. Both of these men are future hall-of-famers and the pace from the onset will be blistering. But Manny Pacquiao is not only a different fighter, he's a different man. He's bigger and strong from their last encounters. And he's more confident. He fully expects to win and march onto a Floyd Mayweather fight. I see Pacquiao winning by TKO in Round 10."
Tommy Rainone, welterweight, Plainview: "A trilogy that needed a finishing, Marquez was in his prime the first two fights and Pac Man was one-handed fighter and still improving. Pac Man is the total package now and Marquez didn't get any better with age. It will still be a good fight because their styles mesh so well. But I expect Pac Man to be very convincing this go around."
Mark Breland, former Olympic gold medalist and two-time welterweight champion: "I think it will be a very good fight and Manny Pacquiao will win by decision."