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Increased muscle mass will not save undisputed lightweight throne’s resident Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) from losing in a very emphatic fashion against Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) in their scheduled November 12th WBO welterweight punchfest in Las Vegas, United States. Pacquiao is going to be simply a notch higher than his nemesis, who is expected to keep the Filipino champion’s hands full for as long as the fight will last.

The last time Marquez went on a toe-to-toe display was when he defended his WBO and WBA super lightweight titles against top class brawler Michael Katsidis almost a year ago. Marquez won that fight clearly, but got nailed to the canvas by the bull-rushing Katsidis in the third round in a foolish attempt of exchanging blows with the harder hitting Australian. If Marquez has plans to stand his ground and trade with Pacquiao, he might get more than what he did when he faced Katsidis.

And that pseudo-clash with Likar Ramos? Best not to include that in any discussion. Ever.

But allow this writer to go against the grain and cite why Marquez, an old prizefighter whose name will echo in the annals of boxing history, may have a slight probability to make a monumental upset despite the odds being stacked way high against him.

Juan Manuel Marquez in his element is a scary prospect, even for Manny Pacquiao.

Intelligence. Marquez has always been a very smart fighter. Perhaps the smartest Pacquiao has ever faced in his whole career. After surviving three knockdowns in their first fight back in 2004, Marquez made the necessary adjustments and won enough rounds to nab a draw. That should tell any boxing observer how intelligent fighter Marquez is. Fighting smart should be the Mexican’s mantra when he deals with Pacquiao for the third occasion.

Iron will. Marquez is the kind of fighter who comes back strong after getting decked to the mat. Sheer determination and guts is what propel this fighter forward and these qualities will manifest come fight night. His upcoming bout with Pacquiao has elements of personal vengeance and redemption which could really fuel him to fight and fight well.

Stylistic differences. Marquez is a pure counterpuncher and he has the style that bothers Pacquiao’s awkward approach. The Filipino boxing icon has never faced someone with counterpunching finesse other than Marquez. And truth be told, the Mexican is a puzzle Pacquiao has never really figured out.

Photo credits: ESPN Boxing

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.