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Marquez picks old rival Pacquiao over Margarito

September 7, 2010 6:50pm

For a change, a long-time Manny Pacquiao nemesis is siding with the Filipino boxing superstar in his coming title fight with two-time world champion Antonio Margarito.

Juan Manuel Marquez believes his 31-year-old congressman rival from the province of Sarangani has the significant edge to pull off a victory once the two climbs up the ring on Nov. 13 (Nov. 14 Manila time) for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) light-middleweight title.

Like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, David Diaz, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey before him, Margarito is expected to have a hard time coping up with Pacquiao’s quickness and ring savvy, according to Marquez.

Never mind that he and Margarito are both of Mexican descent, but Marquez is definitely going to bet where the money is.

“His (Pacquiao) speed with Margarito will be the difference," he said.

Of course, the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) super-lightweight champion knows where he speaks of.

He twice fought Pacquiao the last six years, both of which failed to settle who between them was the clear winner.

In their initial encounter in 2004, Pacquiao, then a rising boxing star, floored Marquez thrice in the opening round in an explosive start. But the Mexican rose each time and fought his way back into the bout and forced a controversial draw that left both fighters bloodied and weary.

It didn’t help any when judge Bert Clemens later admitted that he scored the first round 10-7 in Pacquiao’s favor, instead of calling it 10-6 considering the outright domination of the Filipino ring idol.

A 10-6 score by Clemens could have resulted in a majority decision for Pacquiao.

The highly-anticipated rematch would not take place until 2008. Unlike the first, this one had Pacquiao emerging the winner by split decision – thanks mainly to that third round knockdown he scored - although many of the opinion believes Marquez won the bout.

Marquez, a native of Mexico City now based in Anaheim, California, pointed out that for Margarito to pull off one of boxing’s biggest upsets, the Mexican needs to be more of a counter puncher the way he was in those two Pacquiao meetings.

“Margarito must keep his distance," said Marquez (51-5, with 37 KOs). “And when he attacks, fire off combinations of three or more punches."

For trainer par excellence Freddie Roach, though, one can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

“He (Margarito) likes to exchange a lot," said Roach. “This guy is actually more hittable (than De La Hoya).

"And when Manny can hit somebody, I usually don’t worry that much about it." - RCJ, GMANews.TV
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