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Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV Preview and Pick to Win
When: December 8, 2012
Where: MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV at 9:00 p.m. EST
Weight Class: Welterweights: 12 Rounds
By Scotty L of

Manny Pacquiao, 54-4-2 (38 KOs), General Santos City, Philippines Vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, 54-6-1 (39 KOs), Mexico City, Mexico

Fight Odds: Manny Pacquiao (-280), Juan Manuel Marquez (+220)
Over/Under: Over 10.5 (-280), Under 10.5 (+190)

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Fight Analysis

On December 8, old rivals Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez meet for the 4th time--at the MGM in Vegas. This rivalry is known for painfully close fights where there is virtually nothing to choose from between the two men. It’s funny to reflect on it now, but this rivalry was almost over before it began, with Pacquiao knocking Marquez down three times in the opening round of their first fight. Marquez battled back to earn a draw. After two subsequent close decision wins for Pacman, the issue is still undecided.

The question is whether a 4th fight will settle matters. After 3 go-arounds where there was nothing substantial to choose from to designate a clear winner, what could happen now? Then again, boxing usually provides an unexpected twist. Maybe this is where we finally get a conclusive result.

As we approach the fight, I get this feeling that people are sleeping on Pacquiao. He is a few days from 34 and coming off a loss. In the fight before that, he got a decision over Marquez that a lot of people thought should have gone the other way. Pacquiao is slipping down the pound-for-pound lists and for what, a close fight with a guy who always fights him close and a scandalous decision loss to an undefeated champion?

The odds alone reflect the slippage in confidence of Pacquiao. By the time the lines closed in their fight one year ago, Pacquiao was a favorite in the -800/-900 neighborhood. At -280, the feeling is that perhaps he’s slipping a bit. Perhaps he is, but in a rivalry as tightly contested as this one, perhaps the odds should have been close all along.

This is not an easy proposition. It seldom is with two fighters as well-established as Pacquiao and Marquez. Any number of sentiments can be called for in this match-up. You could think Marquez is just due to get some well-deserved love from the judges, who might finally favor his equally-effective work. Maybe Pacquiao feels a little heat in light of his last two fights and now has a fire lit underneath him.

I might be inclined to slightly favor Pacquiao in a straight-up sense, but this is boxing wagering and we have to deal with odds. Pacquiao’s line of -280 is a little steep for an aging fighter who hasn’t been able to really “beat” this guy in three separate occasions, even if those odds are a ton better than what we had a year ago. And if taking Marquez, don’t you want better than +220 on a 40-year old lightweight who is 0-2 at this weight? This is one of those match-up where every time you get an inkling toward one fighter, something else pops into the head to negate it. That’s the way it should be in a bout with guys who fight each other so closely.

It’s likely to be another tightly-contested fight. In that case, it really comes down to the judges, maybe even more than the fighters. Deciding rounds as close as the ones Pacquiao and Marquez typically have can become almost an arbitrary exercise. That doesn’t really make it a coin-flip, because Pacquiao has generally gotten the benefit of the doubt. Not that any of his 2 wins were robberies, but there seemed to be some of that superstar mojo, or at least a “you gotta beat the man to be the man” sentiment on the judges’ part. Funny, though, that Pacman didn’t get any of that against Bradley in June.

My Prediction to Win: I’d be inclined to take Pacquiao, until I see that the exact same value can be found betting on the over of 10.5 rounds at -280. It’s done with some trepidation, being that once you notice a pattern in boxing, it generally is due to change. I believe, however, that their 3 close distance fights is a solid indication that we’re looking at another 12-rounder, even if it ends up not being as close either way. Take the over at -280.

Free Boxing Picks

Each week, Big Scotty L makes picks on upcoming boxing matches in an attempt to make a punching bag out of his bookie. Scotty is a GREAT boxing handicapper who offers tremendous insight on the fights and his knowledge isn't just limited to boxing matches in the USA. He has a broad knowledge of international fights as well.

Follow Scotty each week as he previews the best fights of the week. These fight previews can be found in the center section of this page. Good luck!

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