Mendoza: New plans but execution is key to victory

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, December 7, 2012


AT 33, Manny Pacquiao should be at the top of his game.

Muhammad Ali was 33 when he knocked out the late, almost indestructible Joe Frazier in the 14th round of their classic “Thrilla in Manila” on Oct. 1, 1975.

At 39, Juan Manuel Marquez, bulked-up physique and all, isn’t spring chicken anymore.

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You are 39 and you are but logically considered old in a sport as brutal as boxing.

Marquez is the only Mexican that Pacquiao has not truly, thoroughly, destroyed.

OK, against Marquez, Pacquiao is 2-0-1, win-loss-draw. But both wins came on points.

It should have been 3-0 but, bizarrely, the first fight was declared a draw although Pacquiao decked Marquez three times in the first round.

But look: Two of Mexico’s Hall-of-Fame-bound boxers—Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales—suffered devastating knockout losses to Pacquiao.

Several other Mexicans were savagely stopped by Pacquiao, earning for PacMan the hair-raising moniker “The Mexicutioner.”

But not Marquez, who, in 36 rounds, escaped Pacquiao’s famed knockout power. Over a period of seven years and 7 months, or a total of 3,137 days, Pacquiao failed to dismiss Marquez with Hitlerite decisiveness.

I like Pacquiao to win by knockout tomorrow, ending Marquez’s blabbering that he had won all three previous fights.

If Pacquiao could deck Marquez four times in their first 15 rounds, I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t finish the Mexican with finality in their 12-round bout tomorrow. I’m sure Pacquiao has found the formula for this.

My guess?

He’d rain punches on Marquez in order to deflect the Mexican’s genius of counter-punching. One-two combinations are now definitely a no-no. Machinegun, FPJ-like shots should be it.

And, yes, if Marquez failed to score even a single knockdown against Pacquiao in 36 rounds, I also don’t see any reason why he’d be able to finally unleash the haymaker tomorrow. Darn if he could sneak in one tomorrow.

Since familiarity of styles is a given, expect a whole new set of strategy and tactics from both sides.

They’d be both novelties. But execution would be the key.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 08, 2012.

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