By John F. McKenna (McJack)
During the final days before any big fight the excitement begins to build. The lead up to the fight between WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KO’s) and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO’s) is no exception. Fight week turns into “Hype Week” as boxing writers and observers offer their analysis on who they think will prevail in the upcoming fight.
I must admit that I have been caught up in the hype myself. Last May in the lead up to the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley I began to think that the 39 year old, over the hill Mosley had a chance. Despite the fact that Mosley had not been the least bit impressive in his past couple of fights I started to buy into the hype. After all, in the photographs of him prior to the fight and at the weigh in itself Shane looked ripped.
Then again when heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko was preparing to defend his title in July against then WBA heavyweight champion David Haye I began to question myself. There were so many fighters and former boxing champions who were predicting that Haye was going to not only defeat Klitschko, but knock him out that I began to think there was something I had missed in analyzing the fight. In fact the hype was so good that in parts of England “The Hayemaker” was favored.
In both the Pacquiao – Mosley and Klitschko – Haye fights I held fast to my original predictions. Going way back into time when I was a kid I idolized heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. Patterson had blazing speed and to this day I believe he had the fastest hands of any heavyweight I’ve ever seen. I truly believed he could whip any man on the planet. When Sonny Liston challenged Patterson for the title in 1962 I truly believed that Patterson would defeat “The Big Ugly Bear” as then Cassius Clay referred to him. I was devastated when Liston KO’d Floyd in the 1st round and repeated the one round KO the following year.
I failed to take into consideration that Patterson who weighed 182 pounds when he won the title by knocking out Archie Moore in the 5th round, was really a puffed up light heavyweight. I also overlooked the fact that Patterson had a chin of pure crystal and it tended to shatter when hit by a real heavyweight.
What I had done was allow my heart to over rule my head. I allowed emotion to dictate my thoughts. At that point I decided that I would never let that happen again.
When attempting to predict the outcome of the Marquez – Pacquiao fight what we have to keep in mind is the great unknown. The great unknown in this fight is that no one, not
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao, Marquez or Nacho Beristain knows how the sudden addition of muscle and weight will impact Marquez’s performance. Not even strength and conditioning coaches, Alex Ariza or Angel Hernandez, Aka Angel Heredia can answer that question.
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