PREVIEW: Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
I'm thinking about doing previews of all the big boxing events. If you like this one, please let me know
What's the big deal? This is the third fight in what will probably be seen as the defining boxing trilogy of our generation. In the first fight, Juan Manuel Marquez was knocked down early in the fight -- then fought his way to a draw. In the second fight, Pacquiao won by split decision -- with many people saying Marquez deserved the win.
This fight is supposed to be the one that "settles questions", with the most prominent being, "Who's better?"
What about the undercard? Because most people who are tuning in are casual fans who just want to see Manny, the pickings are slim. That said, Timothy Bradley vs. Joel Casamayor is the most prominent. This is Bradley's first fight with new promoter Top Rank, and serves as a comeback of sorts (though he's undefeated with a 27-0 record).
If Bradley wins with flying colors, he will either be Pacquiao's next opponent, or will fight Amir Khan for the undisputed Jr. Welterweight championship.
Predictions While Marquez has unquestionably figured out Pacquiao's style, there's likely too many hurdles for him to overcome. For one, while Marquez is the legit Lightweight champion of the world, he'll be fighting at Welterweight. The last time he fought at this division -- when he fought Mayweather -- he looked sluggish and slow. On top of this Marquez is 38-years-old and is nearing the end of this career. Pacquiao will probably win by late round TKO.
Regarding Bradley-Casamayor, there's not question Bradley will probably win this -- though Casamayor will probably do his damnedest to to make it look ugly. Still, Bradley will need to look good if he's going to impress those casual fans who only buy Pacquiao fights. I still have it Bradley by UD.
Should I buy this fight? Buying Pacquiao-Marquez III is pretty much like watching Revenge of the Jedi. If you don't watch the previous episodes, you're missing a lot.
If you buy this fight, make sure you watch the first two fights beforehand. If haven't seen the previous two fights -- and don't plan on seeing them -- spend your money on Cotto-Margarito II.
Rating: B+. If it had a better undercard, I'd rate it higher. As it is, the whole card must be judged by the main event. If Marquez hasn't aged over night, this could be pretty decent. If it's obvious he's passed his prime, this card is bound to disappoint.