By Reni M. Valenzuela
No Thomas Edison can fix a puzzle which parts are kept under wraps.
Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez could have been conquered by Manny Pacquiao in old days without the fans having to go through the perpetuity of boxing (or boring) rematches.
Pacquiao needed not even burn the candle at both ends. His demolition of giants since his second bout with Marquez is a testament to the eight-division champ’s evolution. Therefore the Mexican great should be a soft opponent to a well-rounded Pacquiao in their forthcoming quadrilogy, easier than when Floyd Mayweather Jr. disposed of Marquez.
The marvel of Pacquiao in beating the other common Mayweather opponents was more than enough ground to validate such prognosis. Take another look at how pitiful Ricky Hatton fell flat and easy on his back, Oscar Dela Hoya on his stool and Miguel Cotto on his knee after taking turns to brave the rampage of a titanic hurricane code-named Pacman. Hatton contemplated suicide as a result of that devastating loss. Dela Hoya was sent to retirement for good and Cotto has just deliberately “strayed” to a different route or Trout to shun alleged “clamors” for a rematch with the Matrix Man, having had the foretaste of hell fighting a power-machine.
All three champions pushed Mayweather hard to the limit, while Dela Hoya, according to observers, should have gotten the win on points; and which win should have deleted the proud zero from Money Floyd’s “unblemished” record.
Thus far, it is incumbent upon the Filipino icon to bring about a shining result that would render the judges’ scoring moot and academic in the Pacquiao-Marquez IV.
But where’s the black spot for Pacman?
Why Marquez seems to be the “perfect” nemesis to match and challenge the Pacquiao “Dynamo” aside from style? Why Pacman seems to be showing some white feather in solving Dinamita when he stunned bigger stars and stronger opponents by way of magnificent wins?
Why there still remains a score to settle and issues to erase for Pacquiao after fighting Marquez three times? Why the hounding and never ending Pacquiao-Marquez controversies? Why is there a need to stage the fourth fight?
The answers are lost to a trainer or a Pharaoh who remains proud and stubborn, but plain to anyone who would not only look, but understand.
The “confidence factor” is among the three major reasons why.
Age, speed and power are out of the question. The half-prepared Pacquiao was simply dumbfounded during the last six rounds of his initial Marquez encounter. Pacquiao was conspicuously cautious and apprehensive in the subsequent rematch, over-confident in the last and now appears to be “unsettled,” contrary to the fight promotional “build up,” heading to the fourth quandary.
“Confidence” during interviews prior to the fight is usually false confidence. That’s not the kind Pacquiao would need to knockout Marquez. It is a confidence found only in the ring on fight night that Pacquiao would have to wear in his heart, complete and mighty, even just for a very limited duration of 36 minutes or less.
Freddie Roach must realize that Marquez is not a “mind-game,” but a ring puzzle.
What makes the first four rounds different from the rest of the 36 rounds that Pacman battled Dinamita on three occasions from 2004 up to 2011?
First is Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times as compared to only one for the remaining 32 rounds of their trilogy. Second is Pacquiao fought just as natural as he fought. Third is Pacquiao climbed up the canvass and moved with full “Pacman confidence.” Fourth is Marquez didn’t have Pacquiao figured out in those rounds. And fifth is Dinamita hasn’t developed yet a phantom in the shadows of Roach and his pupil.
How then will Pacman, together with his team, go about the “puzzle” come December 8?
Another rematch would be extremely unbearable.
So, play it good, this time.
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