Manny Pacquiao mid-rounds TKO Juan Manuel Marquez: The fact that they have had two, very close fights years ago is academic at this juncture. That was as many as four weight classes south, and with two, much different versions of the fighters who will walk into the ring on Saturday.
Manny Pacquiao has improved drastically since their past two encounters, having evolved into a two-fisted fighter with better defensive skills and great ring smarts. Juan Manuel Marquez’s reflexes have diminished, and he didn’t carry the weight well in his lone foray at welterweight.
I expect Pacquiao to take the fight to JMM from the onset, dropping him in the early rounds en route to a mid-round stoppage, when the ref or corner saves Marquez from further punishment.
Kevin Cunningham, trainer of former WBC/IBF junior welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander
Pacquiao’s bigger and stronger and faster than he was when they were fighting at the ligher weights. So I think that I can see Pacquiao stopping Marquez within eight rounds.
Manny Pacquiao late-round KO Juan Manuel Marquez: I think that Juan Manuel Marquez is going to look better than he did against Floyd Mayweather. I think that he went about adding the weight intelligently, so he’s going to be quicker and he’s going to have better reflexes than he did fighting at welterweight against Mayweather.
Marquez knows how to fight Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s style fits him, so I think that they’re going to respect each other and that they’re going to go tit for tat in the earlier rounds. But I do think that at some point, Pacquiao’s going to land a bomb and hurt Marquez.
I think that he will hurt Marquez the way that he hurt Shane Mosley and the way that he hurt Miguel Cotto in the third or fourth rounds. He’s going to land something and rock or drop Marquez. The only difference between Marquez and Mosley and Cotto is that Marquez is going to get up and fight back.
Marquez is not going to play it safe or just be content with backpedaling round after round after round. Marquez is not going to do that. Marquez is going to fight, and I think that they’re going to fight. I think that you’re going to see good, intense exchanges.
I think that Marquez is going to surprise people that he’s able to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao in spots. But he’s only going to be able to do that for a few rounds. He will get busted up doing that. He will get hurt and he will get rocked and he will get wobbled into the ropes.
I think that going into the late rounds, that he’ll be taking too much punishment. I think that there will be a lot of concern in his corner and that Nacho Beristain is going to end the fight with Marquez on his stool between the seventh and the eighth, or, between the eighth or the ninth.
Norm Frauenheim, www.15rounds.com
A stronger Marquez means he’ll be dangerous early, but Pacquiao has the footwork to stay away. He also has the know-how, much of it gained in the years since his last fight with Marquez.
Marquez, who might have sacrificed whatever quickness he still retained, will begin to wilt midway through the bout, which is when Pacquiao will go to work with a right hand that Marquez didn’t see in their first two fights.
Virgil Hunter, trainer of WBA super middleweight titleholder Andre Ward
I think that the competition and the different styles that Marquez has fought since their last fight has maybe given Marquez a better perspective to be in this fight.
So I think that if the fight goes the distance, that Marquez wins a split-decision. That’s if it goes the distance. So if you want me to give my final verdict, then I will go by split-decision.