MANNY PACQUIAO IS THE WORST FIGHTER EVER!
I kid. I’m just trying to get a rise out of my new friends among the Pacmaniacs, who have called me a lotta names in the last couple days for daring to think Juan Manuel Marquez may come out on top in their man’s junior lightweight rematch Saturday night. (For the record, Pacmaniacs: Pacquiao is the second best fighter today, and one of the best Filipino fighters ever, well on his way to the Hall of Fame and with the chance to achieve even higher levels of greatness.)
All joking aside, find attached some links to the best stories, predictions, video and more for the great big gigantic awesome fight that is Pacquiao-Marquez II.
First: Go see the first fight, if you haven’t already. It’s really remarkable, one of the top handful of best fights in 2004. In an interesting arrangement that I hope we’ll see more of from boxing, the powers-that-be are sharing it on Yahoo!. A link to it is here.
Next, prediction-time. Sticking with Yahoo!, I love the way Kevin Iole breaks down the fights, with his ratings and keys and what not. Here’s his breakdown, but, according to Pacmaniacs, I bet this veteran boxing scribe is OUT OF HIS FREAKING MIND for calling a Marquez win.
The smart money’s on Pacquiao, though, both literally and figuratively. It’s noteworthy that The Ring magazine’s experts split evenly in their predictions — link not available, although here’s the contents page (say, whatever happened to Oscar De La Hoya making more of The Ring’s website?) — in their cover story this month, but then, their mag is put to bed pretty far in advance of publication. I suspect the way Pacquaio looks like he is oozing in advance preparation, with muscles popping out of everywhere on his body up to and including his eyelashes, has helped sway his doubters. TheSweetScience’s experts went for Pacquiao pretty decisively, here. Las Vegas? It has Pacquiao as a betting favorite, and it’s not as close as I would expect. But all the people from the comments section can win big if they bet on the first round KO they’re predicting.
Besides my fight breakdown yesterday, there have been at least two other very nice, thorough examinations of the fight’s background and the internal strategy of it all. First, BadLeftHook; second, TheSweetScience.
As always, I gotta recommend MaxBoxing for its undercard coverage, but, frankly, it’s a pretty terrible undercard. If you care, for some reason, try here and here. The only match of real interest is David Diaz’s fight, because he may be Pacquiao’s next opponent, in a move up to lightweight (135 lbs). But I don’t think it’s even airing on TV, which is freaking stupid, because if he blows out his opponent, it’d really build interest for Pacquaio-Diaz. Now, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, says to watch out for Diaz’ no-name opponent, who has been mimicking Marquez in sparring with Pacquiao, so maybe there’s no blowout. But I’d at least like to get a glimpse of Diaz in action Saturday.
ESPN, as is always the case, has a ton of great features on this fight — they’ve really pumped up their coverage, and seem to have created some kind of new “Fight Credential” site to handle big fights. It’s got the blog that features anecdotes about the scene in Vegas, a summary of Pacquiao’s and Marquez’ key fights, some predictions and a buncha other stuff. Follow the link above for all of it. Now, can we get Sportscenter to cover some highlights? Or some good fights on ESPN2, more than assorted scraps? Thanks.
HBO’s put together some good stuff on their site, including, if you want to see it, the weigh-in later today, some info on Pacman’s Filipino predecessor, a Compubox analysis and more. Scheduling information and so forth is also there — like the fact that if you haven’t seen the countdown show yet, it’s on tonight at 8:30 p.m. (I haven’t. I moved over the weekend, and didn’t get satellite service until yesterday, but that means I should be able to avoid the evils of Comcast screwing me over on the pay-per-view feed this time.)
I’m sure I’ve missed something. I’ve read some pretty good features on Marquez’ thinking and Pacquiao’s thinking over the last couple weeks, but, alas, I can’t remember where they were. All this, though, should get you started.