Manny Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world in my estimation. Juan Manuel Marquez is sixth. Marquez is a great fighter. But don't believe the hype; he has no shot of winning.
Some will look to the first two bouts between these competitors. Marquez has won more rounds than Pacquiao in those two fights. He was able to hurt Manny. He is an intelligent and knowledgeable pugilist. That's all well and good, but it won't help him tonight.
Pacquiao is better than he was in 2004 and in 2008, when those first two bouts took place. I'm not sure we can say the same thing for the 38 year old Marquez. Most would agree than Pacquiao is a better fighter than Marquez now. Pacquiao is a welterweight; Marquez is a lightweight. So, the better fighter is also the bigger fighter. Pacquiao also has faster hands and more power.
It's the latter point that leads me to believe this fight will be a blowout. In their previous two bouts, Marquez got hit often. He went down four times. That was against a far smaller and less proficient Pacquiao. Marquez will get hit tonight and he will go down. I'm not convinced he'll be able to get up as he has in the past.
Many look to Marquez's only other performance above lightweight. He was dominated by Floyd Mayweather at welterweight in 2009. Marquez's team says their fighter's gaining weight in a smarter way this time around. Their new strength coach has been linked to performance enhancing drugs. Yet, on 24/7, Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, said it didn't concern him even if Marquez was on steroids.
My instinct was to shout at the television, "Of course you don't care, your guy's on steroids!" I found it an odd and illogical position for a clean strength coach to have. But that was merely my instinct. I have no evidence and I'm not accusing either of these fighters of using performance enhancing drugs. I just wish there were more stringent drug tests so there are no doubts.