By Ronald Geronimo
It happened to the best pugilists and now it happened to Manny Pacquiao. While Juan Manuel Marquez has that new 10-pack body that begs the question of substance abuse especially because of his strength and conditioner trainer Angel Heredia’s reputation, there should be no doubt that Pacquiao simply got dropped by a well-executed counter shot. Gone are the days of him being able to take punches like they were muffins. Roy Jones Jr. was never the same man after taking a beating from Antonio Tarver and I have a feeling that Pacquiao will go down the same route. Wear and tear. It’s a sad reality all boxers have to face.
Natural or unnatural, Marquez demonstrated that his new muscles were not only for show. They clearly added the punching power necessary to take the Pacman down. The first knockdown was a clear testament to this. Never have I seen the Pacquiao of recent years fall down just like that. He was hitting his face to Marquez’s rights in a trilogy but never like this. I still remember him being able to take the best of Miguel Cotto’s bombs and Antonio Margarito’s grenades like it was yesterday. Pacquiao was known to have everything you could ask of for an elite slugger. He had the power, the speed, the chin, the heart and the stamina. After this brutal showdown though, his chin seems suspect with or without Marquez using any steroids. His ring age has definitely eroded the power and speed as well but not to the same degree as his chin.
If there was any time for Floyd Mayweather to step up to the plate now would be the perfect time. It would have been better to have seen them slug it out during their primes. Both of them have slipped now but if you think about it we might get to see the best from both sides determination-wise. Both fighters have a lot to prove. Mayweather would love to silence all his critics for good coming of a less than stellar win against Miguel Cotto while Pacquiao would be extremely determined to avenge his humiliating defeat against Marquez and use Mayweather as the perfect guinea pig. Of course Pacquiao has to agree to a lower purse and Mayweather must still offer a reasonable price that Pacquiao can take to make the fight happen. A 70-30 or even 65-35 PPV split might be fair now. An 80-20 split might be pushing it a little too far and Pacquiao would most likely say no to that.
Looking back on Pacquiao-Marquez 4 I can definitely say this was one of the most exciting fights in boxing history. Marquez body was ripped like an alligator. One has to wonder a bit why now all of a sudden Pacquiao can’t take counters from a 39 yr old Marquez. I’m not accusing him of anything until all the facts come out. Hopefully, his drug tests come out negative. This victory could be the start of a revolution in the importance of a strength and conditioning coach in a boxer’s preparation or another shame of substance abuse. Having said all that, I still have to congratulate Juan Manuel Marquez for that superb well-timed counter. It wasn’t a lucky shot. He timed it perfectly while reading Pacquiao’s rhythm. Kudos to Pacquiao as well for taking this legit loss like a man. Great job to both of you! Thanks for trying so hard and giving us all boxing fans a night to remember.
A parting question to nowboxing.com readers, was it Pacquiao’s chin or Marquez’s power?
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