By Scott Heritage
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The latest from camp Pacquiao seems to suggest that a third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez might be next for Pacquiao. Although nothing official has been confirmed yet, Freddie Roach apparently wants that fight rather than a showdown with Yuri Foreman, the super welterweight champion and favorite to face Manny in March.
Freddie Roach apparently thinks this might be a weight class to far for Manny, who at around 5,6 would be at a big size disadvantage against the rangy Foreman. There were talks of Marquez facing Ricky Hatton in the new year, although he has been chomping at the bit for another fight with Manny for years. Both fights can probably still happen on schedule though, because Hatton will probably need until mid way through next year to get back into decent shape.
The first two fights between Pacquiao and Marquez were both excellent, the first being a draw and the second a controversial decision for Pacquiao. Ever since then Marquez has been looking for another fight against Pacquiao, who he still feels he can beat. Whether he has much left for the wight class hopping Pacquiao of 2010 will remain to be seen, but he would probably come in as a big underdog this time around.
One of the biggest questions and reservations I have about a third fight is what weight it would be fought at. Presumably it would either be light welterweight or welterweight, because Manny would struggle to get much lighter with all the muscle he has put on recently.
The higher the weight goes the easier the fight becomes for Manny, who unlike Marquez is still at his best at either 140lbs or 145lbs. Marquez struggled against Floyd Mayweather at welterweight and never really got much momentum during the fight.
If the fight takes place at anything higher than 130lbs, then expect Pacquiao to dominate from bell to bell, perhaps even getting a stoppage this time around. At 36 Marquez still looks in pretty good shape, but add a big weight gain to his advancing age and he becomes a much diminished fighter.
There is appeal for this fight from many fans despite all this, and it would still be a big seller. If Mayweather can get a million buys for giving an undersized Marques a shellacking, then Pacquiao can surely do the same given the closeness of their first two fights.
The other advantage is that currently Floyd Mayweather can say that he beat Marquez a lot easier than Pacquiao did. Should Manny smash Marquez this time around, which most agree he would, then of course Mayweather has nothing left to crow about.
Of all the common opponents they have faced, only Marquez was beaten more easily by Floyd than Manny (huge weight advantage or not). If Manny reverses this, than Floyd cannot claim to have either beaten better opponents or beaten them more easily either.
Besides that though, the fight doesn’t hold much appeal for me. At anything above 135lbs Manny is still a monster who can walk through opponents and blitzkrieg the best fighters in each division. Marquez looks slow and old that far above his natural weight, and certainly doesn’t look like a world beater.
If I were on Manny’s team I would push for either Malignaggi or Foreman first and if Marquez can get past a decent light welterweight or welterweight like Hatton, then make a trilogy later in the year. If the Mayweather fight comes back around later on in the year though, and the terms can be finalized this time, Manny should drop the idea of Marquez altogether.
Scott Heritage covers both MMA and Boxing make sure to visit his Website to read his other articles http://www.examiner.com/x-20066-Pittsburgh-Fight-Sports-Examiner
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