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List of Articles by Jason Aniel



Manny’s Four-Year Journey Ends March 15!

By Jason Aniel
PhilBoxing.com
11 Mar 2008



San Francisco, Ca — The plan was simple—defeat the three greatest featherweights of the past 20 years. In 2003, the brain trust of Team Pacquiao attempted to make boxing history by fighting Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Erik Morales within a one or two year time frame. When Pacquiao burst onto the scene with a shockingly one-sided beating of the Lineal and RING featherweight champion, Marco Antonio Barrera, over 11 rounds in 2003, no one would have complained about a soft touch for good money, or even an immediate re-match. However, in typical Manny fashion, he went straight to the most avoided and skillful featherweight at the time, Juan Manuel Marquez.

Not only was Pacquiao fighting the best available featherweight in Marquez, a WBA and IBF unified champ, but also a fighter in Marquez, who possessed the style tailor made to frustrate Pacquiao. Six months after stopping Barrera, Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the first, but could finish off Marquez, who fought back to gain a draw. Pacquiao was visibly upset by the outcome, which did cause a set back in his career. Remember, the plan to was after Pacquiao defeated Marquez, he would move up in weight and fight reigning WBC Super Featherweight titlist, Erik Morales.

Late Fall 2004, Pacquiao and Marquez were on a collision course to battle once in February of 2005. Pacquiao fought in the Philippines in December of 2004, tuning up for his match with Marquez. However, Marquez’s trainer and manager, Nacho Beristain, request more money than Top Rank, who promoted Marquez at the time, could budget. Therefore, the fight was canceled and Pacquiao moved on to a classic trio of bout over two years with Erik Morales.

When Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions settle their dispute of the promotional rights to Pacquiao in 2007, it seemed inevitable that Pacquiao and Marquez, now promoted by Golden Boy, would settle their “Unfinished Business”. In November of 2007, what turned into a “tune-up” bout for Pacquiao when he once again dominated Marco Antonio Barrera, set the stage for this Saturday historical match-up.

Similar to 2004, Pacquiao has plans that assume getting past Marquez, who is in a similar spoiler role for Pacquiao. However, when Marquez captured the WBC Super Featherweight title from Marco Antonio Barrera, he reaffirmed his place in boxing by winning a big fight on a big stage. Instead of proving to the boxing world, especially his Mexican fanbase, that he was in fact a superior fighter than Morales and Barrera (who were beloved by their fans), Marquez attempts end Pacquiao’s supremacy over top Mexican opposition. Marquez has received the adulation he’s long search for and will now have his fan expecting him to pull off the upset.

For Pacquiao, his long four-year journey to accomplish this “simple” goal will end on March 15, 2008. There are no excuses or rhetoric that will diminish a potential win for Pacquiao. He will not surprise or burst onto the scene like he did against Barrera. He won’t fight an opponent, coming off of a lost and struggling to make weight like he did against Morales. This Saturday, the two best fighters at 130lbs and two pound for pound fighters, face off with everything on the line.

Top photo: Juan Manuel Marquez, left, of Mexico, and Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, pose for the media during a news conference Monday, March 10, 2008, in Los Angeles. The fighters will face each other in a 12-round bout for Marquez's WBC super featherweight title on Saturday, March 15 in Las Vegas.
(AP Photo/Nick Ut)



Jason Aniel is an awarding winning writer and a member of Pacland under the alias, SpOrTaJoRdAn. His work can also be found at RingTalk.com. Leave comments at sportnjordan@gmail.com.


Back to Jason Aniel's Articles Listing



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