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List of Articles by Sid Bañez

Pacquiao Will Stop Marquez as Pryor Stopped Arguello

By Sid Bañez
14 Mar 2008

It has been said that there are no parallels in history, just similarities. Same is true in boxing. But with only two main personas involved the similarities between two world title fights – one already history, one still to take place - can be so intriguing that a boxing fan like this writer can have the confidence (or temerity) to make a prediction.

“In an analogous case…” as my attorney would put it to argue a point in my favor – I submit that Aaron Pryor vs. Alexis Arguello is the similar case – the precedent if you will – that makes for a strong argument that Manny Pacquiao will beat Juan Marquez this time. Pardon the legalese but a nasty court experience, such as the one I am presently going through, can afflict you with unwanted lawyerspeak.

Okay, so Juan Manuel Marquez is the counter-puncher par excellence, one of the most technically sound in the business. On the other hand, Pacquiao, to his detractors, is the power machine who lunges with his guard down and gets hit too often before he can drop a bomb.

Flashback 1982: Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello versus American Aaron Pryor for the junior welterweight championship of the world. The soft spoken Arguello was seeking to become the first man to hold world titles in four different divisions - he was featherweight, superfeatherweight and lightweight champion. Experts and fans revere Arguello, up to this time, as the perfect boxer whose jabs were straight and crisp and whose defense was a sight to behold. In precarious situations Arguello would recoil into a most difficult target, shielded by long, slender arms that would unleash multi-directional firepower in precise timing.

Aaron Pryor, he with the swagger of the anti-hero, was junior welterweight champion of the world. You can feel even on television his disdain for the irreverent three-division champ poised to invade his fiefdom.

It is heartwarming, though, that after their careers were over, these two Hall of Fame fighters became close friends.

Arguello, the master technician and Pryor the swarming brawler fought each other twice as Marquez and Pacquiao will have done on March 15. While Arguello was not a counter-puncher in the real sense of the word, but his punches were perfectly timed and delivered with care and precision. Pryor, on the other hand, was described by some sportswriters as awkward, sometimes even reaching out, almost tiptoeing, in precarious balance, to land a cross to the taller Nicaraguan’s head. Mixing it up with Arguello, whose style has been described as a piece of Rennaissance art, Pryor sometimes looked raw. But he got the job done, beating Arguello twice with bombs coming from everywhere in seemingly reckless fashion. Their first meeting ended in a thirteenth round technical knockout; the second in a tenth round knockout. The first fight was so good Ring Magazine declared it as Fight of the Decade.

In Pacquaio Marquez I, the Filipino star was the awkward and reckless one, befuddled by a counter-punching machine even after dropping the latter thrice in the first round. Nevertheless, he got the job done, well almost, if not for the scoring error that resulted in a draw. Since then Pacquiao has metamorphosed into a two-fisted monster, who can box patiently and wait for the right time to unload his haymakers. More importantly he has upgraded his defense as seen in his last fight with Marco Antonio Barrera.

I foresee Pacquiao-Marquez II to be reminiscent of Pryor versus Arguello I. It will be as if hell has descended on Mandalay Bay when they settle their unfinished business. Pacquiao will settle it by stopping Marquez on or before the tenth round of a thrilling and bloody contest.

Sid Bañez is a long-time member of Pacland and goes by the name fistolero.

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