Posts Tagged ‘Juan Manuel Marquez’

Original Source:

In light of recent news of Floyd Mayweather’s postponement of jail sentencing for his domestic issues, once again there has been rumblings of a potential block buster match up between Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather.

The only problem is Team Pacquiao.

For those who do not know, Mayweather will not have to serve time in jail until the 1st of June, leaving the original date of May 5th intact. Basically, the dooms day date for Pacquiao if he decides to man up and take the challenge,

In reaction to the postponement of Mayweather’s impeding sentencing and the possibility of matching Pacquiao against Mayweather in May, Bob Arum stated, “I don’t think it has any impact, no impact at all. Manny isn’t going to be ready to fight until summer time.”

Arum continued, “Manny has a severe cut, which Pacquiao suffered in a November win over Juan Manuel Marquez, which would prohibit the Filipino star from fighting until late spring, at the earliest.”

So the fight against Marquez took place in November right? Mr. Arum, you mean to tell the public that Pacquiao would have over five months to heal and prepare for this fight and the cut won’t be healed in time?

Andre Ward recently had a cut that postponed his fight against Carl Froch but the fight was only delayed about a month and a half.

But Pacquiao can’t get ready for a fight in May?

You say he will be ready in June or July, conveniently when Mayweather will be behind bars?

I have said this for awhile, despite all of the effort Top Rank Promotions, the ESPN Networks, even some world renown journalist/sports personalities have tried to deceive the public with, but the fact is Pacquiao has been ducking Mayweather.

He has been ducking competition period, and I’m not even mad at him for doing so.

Pacquiao reserves the right to choose whoever he wants to fight. Ultimately it’s his health, his life on the line. The only problem I have is all of the false accolades and hype these so called sports writers and media personalities want to bestow upon Pacquiao.

But he does not deserve the acclaim he is awarded with, especially for fighting predominately washed up fighters as of late.

His promoter Bob Arum likes to puff his chest out and exclaim certain things, but at the end of the day, he along with his star fighter is all bark and no bite.

“I will fight whoever, I am a fighter of the people.” A common sentence uttered after every one of his fights.

I don’t want to hear that, because you haven’t shown that.

But Mayweather is the one that fights for money, not pride or not for the people

So do you, you’re the same way. As a matter a fact, you’re worse. At least Mayweather is honest about fighting for large checks.

It’s not a problem fighting for large sums of money, but at the end of the day it’s honorable to fight for fair rates, and to fight guys who deserve that chance to go up against you. It’s honorable to test your abilities and fight the best opposition out there.

You claim to be an honorable fighter.

Claiming not to fight for money, but opted to fight against a 39 year old washed up Shane Mosley, who was coming off an one sided, comprehensive beat down from the hands of Mayweather, and a putrid performance that resulted in a draw against the likes of Sergio Mora?

According to Abac Cadero of the Philippine Star, Pacquiao is willing to fight Marquez for a fourth time, but only under the guarantee of receiving no less than a fighting purse of 28 million dollars?

In an interview with local media in his home province, when asked about his next opponent and the possibility of facing Marquez for a fourth time, Pacquiao proclaimed, “basta hindi bababa sa 28 million.”

Pacquiao is basically fighting for money and fighting guys with name recognition even if they are washed up.

The same reasons you opted to fight Miguel Cotto over Mosley a few years back, with Cotto being the larger name. It also didn’t hurt he was coming off a devastating loss and you MADE him meet you at a catch weight, another thing you’re good at.

You have ducked Mayweather for the past three years.

Your reasons being because of the random Olympic testing and what not. There has already been a ton of coverage regarding that whole issue, but at the end of the day, you were not willing to undergo the same testing Mayweather himself would go through as well and the fight never manifested.

To add on, your refusal to undergo testing displays your guilt. I don’t want to hear about your excuses of the blood process sapping your strength, or you being afraid of needles because it is all bull.

You have plenty of tattoos, there is video footage of you giving blood and there are plenty of athletes who get tested on a regular basis before participating in a sporting event and they are not affected by the small loss of blood.

You have always asked for concessions in your major fights, and in this case in particular, Mayweather conceded.

You guys had a 50-50 split on the purse, despite him being the bigger attraction ppv and money generating wise, he made your concession to gloves, ring size, and the 10 million dollar weight penalty, none of which by the way is in the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

All you had to do is take some blood tests. Some blood tests, and risk getting dominated inside the ring for the biggest pay day of your life. Some simple blood tests, for one of the biggest prize fights in history.

The reason you do not want to face Mayweather is you know he will out box you and make you look foolish. Mayweather is basically a stronger, faster, and even more intelligent version of your worst nightmare Marquez. Oh and Mayweather also has a five inch reach advantage over you.

ESPN, HBO and other media outlets do a great job of hiding your true self. You’re not the good character person they make you out to be. And there is no problem being who you are, you have that freedom. Who am I of all people to judge right? But the same thing should apply to Floyd Mayweather, to Mike Tyson, to Oscar De La Hoya, to whoever for that matter, but It doesn’t.

No one mentions your gambling habits, or alcoholic splurges among other things I won’t even mention.
As far as it goes within the boxing ring, you’re definitely a talented fighter, no doubt about that. But you’re not as good as they want to make you seem, and you have not only ducked Mayweather, but ducked other solid opposition for years.

Juan Diaz, Zahir Raheem, Joel Casamayor, Joan Guzman, just to name a few.

You have been ducking Marquez for years and the last fight that took place between you two shows why. Marquez made you look foolish, and you know deep down inside you lost that fight, among the other ones that took place between you two.

That’s probably why you want a guaranteed 28 million for that fight. Guess what, you can make even more than 28 million if you step up and fight Floyd Mayweather.

Take the test, and fight the best guy there is out there for you.

Original Source:

Yes I am sure Mr. Pacquiao and his legions of fans are enjoying the spoils of his recent success and have every right to do so.


Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank

To many of us in the United States, he is celebrated as a great fighter. But around the world, especially in his homeland in the Philippines, he is celebrated as a great fighter, a politician, an ambassador of sportsmanship and acknowledged as a national hero.

But for the last three or four years of his professional boxing career, Pacquiao has not really accomplished anything to be celebrated for. At least not to the degree he currently is being heralded as.

His promoter Bob Arum, the HBO network, some friendly, misinformed ESPN analysts, and others in the different forums of media, have done a great job of marketing him as the figure he is today.

He is heralded as possibly one of the greatest fighters of all time, and currently according to the “Pacquiao promoters,” the greatest fighter of this era.

The question is what has Pacquiao really accomplished throughout his career?

Yes he has dozens of alphabet titles across several weight divisions, and a numerous supply of recognizable names on his resume.

Is he a great fighter? Yes no question, but his accomplishments especially as of late should hold an asterisk next to it.

How about we go over the opponent selection the last three years or so and you can decide for yourself.

While analyzing a fight, many people just look at the names on paper and depending on the names they see and the history of each person, they determine whether it’s a good fight or not.

People see Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya, and because of the history of each fighter come to the conclusion that it’s a good match up.

A funny thing is, people tend to conveniently neglect the circumstances of each fight. You have to look at the styles of each fighter, the recent history, and other things to determine the status of each fighter and the fight itself.

HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant makes a habit of criticizing or finding some sort of flaw in every single opponent Floyd Mayweather has faced.

An interesting note is recently Pacquiao has faced many of the same opponents Mayweather has faced, the same opponents Merchant has criticized, but only after Mayweather beat them.

Strange thing is, whenever Pacquiao goes up against that same opponent, and ultimately beats them, he gets all the praise in the world and there is no criticism from Merchant and some of the other analysts in the boxing world.

Those opponents include Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley. Mayweather and Pacquiao also faced Juan Manuel Marquez, with Pacquiao having faced Marquez before Mayweather.

Speaking of Marquez, he is the first fighter we’ll begin with while analyzing Pacquiao’s opponent selection over the past couple of years.

In 2008, the long awaited rematch between Pacquiao and Marquez for Marquez’s WBC Super Featherweight title took place.

This is the best fight for Pacquiao at the time, and because of the cerebral counterpunching style of Marquez, probably his most challenging. Can’t criticize Pacquiao for this fight, I commend him for this fight and he should get nothing but respect for taking this challenge.

After a tough fight against Marquez, which resulted in a controversial split decision victory for Pacquiao, he decides to move up in weight and fight David Diaz for an alphabet title in the lightweight division.

It should be noted at the time Diaz was the weakest title holder of the division, not really an upper tier fighter, basically a paper champion. He arguably lost to a faded Erik Morales prior to facing Pacquiao.

People remarked on the transformation of Pacquiao in his fight against Diaz. He looked stronger, faster, better conditioned and he outclassed Diaz. Perhaps it was the opponent, the addition of new strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, or maybe a combination of both. Whichever the case may be, he easily disposed of Diaz.

Later on in the year, Pacquiao would take on the faded legend Oscar De La Hoya, in a bout that was advertised as a “Dream Match.”

The fight took place at a catch weight, which was at the welterweight limit, which is a division Oscar has not even stepped in over seven years.

Granted, this was Pacquiao’s first bout above 135 pounds, so you would think there was some risk for him as well.

There would be a risk, if it were against a live opponent, something Oscar clearly wasn’t. His previous fight against Steve Forbes proved that.

Pacquaio’s head trainer Freddie Roach offered his opinions on the current form of De La Hoya to FoxSports.com stating, “From the Mayweather fight, to the Forbes fight, to the Pacquiao fight, there was a steady decline in Oscar.”

And also added, “Don’t kill yourself to make weight, don’t burn yourself out. Fight at a more natural weight, that’s what Pacquiao did.”

“I saw the IV in his arms, I saw the fresh IV marks. They hydrated him too late. He was dehydrated after the fight, I got the report in from the doctors, it was dehydration.”

Anyone who knows boxing could see the deterioration in De La Hoya. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach even said it.

After the demolition of the Golden Boy, Pacquiao sought out England’s Ricky Hatton.

Entering the fight against Pacquiao, Hatton was coming off a devastating knock out loss against Floyd Mayweather and had questionable performances against Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi.

Some people, including Roach, saw the same decline in Hatton as they did with De La Hoya.

In an interview with FightFan.com, Roach commented on Hatton saying, “He’s not the same fighter as he was before the Mayweather fight, I think Mayweather took something out of him. He looked pretty shaky in the Lazcano fight.”

It’s obvious Hatton was a shell of his former self. It was even noted by the BBC in his sparring sessions leading up to his fight with Pacquiao, as he was getting outclassed by Cuban amateur star Erislandy Lara and was dismissed early because of the punishment he was dealing to Hatton.

New trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. turned out to be an experiment gone wrong in the corner of Hatton and he was quickly disposed of.

After failed negotiations with the Mayweather team, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum continues a trend that will be noticeable in upcoming Pacquiao fights.

Matching Pacquiao with fighters on the downslide or at a catch weight, that may also happen to be under Top Rank Promotions.

After the Hatton fight, with Mayweather on the backburner, the match up of Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto came into fruition.

The problem with this fight is, Cotto is a one year removed from the monstrous beating he took from the hands of Antonio Margarito and only a few months removed from his controversial victory over Joshua Clottey.

The hand wrap scandal with Margarito is highly publicized. While it is unknown whether he used illegal hand wraps against Cotto in their bout, it’s clearly evident to most boxing experts and fans that Cotto was not the same person after that fight, and there has been an obvious decline since.

In an interview with therewillbeblood.com, Freddie Roach stated, “The big thing right now is he the same fighter that he once was since the fight with Margarito, how much did that take out of him? He took a lot of punishment in that fight, he hasn’t really looked good since that fight.”

It’s bad enough Cotto struggled against Clottey prior to his fight against Pacquiao. To add to that, he changed trainers after a fall out with his uncle/trainer Evangelista Cotto. If that wasn’t bad enough, in order to secure a fight with Pacquiao, Cotto had to meet him at a catch weight of 145 pounds.

Last I checked, the welterweight limit is 147.

When Cotto decided to make a stand and chose not to defend his title because of the catch weight issue, Cotto was stripped of his welterweight title thanks to his own promoter Arum and WBO president Francisco Varcarcel. Cotto was then informed even if he were to emerge victorious, the title would become vacant.

After defeating Cotto at the catch weight of 145 pounds for the WBO Welterweight title, Pacquiao elected to fight Ghanaian native Joshua Clottey after negotiations with Floyd Mayweather failed again.

Clottey is not a bad fighter and at the time was generally considered a top ten welterweight, some may argue top five. I certainly thought of Clottey as a talented fighter with boxing skills.

The only problem I saw with Clottey is his tendency to fall short in big fights, and from a stylistic standpoint, this was not a good match for him because he lacks mobility and is not a high volume puncher.

At the time of the cancellation of the bout between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto, I’m sure many fans would of liked to see Pacquiao take the challenge and face Mosley. Mosley at the time, was the number one recognized welterweight after his destruction of Margarito.

Everyone has their own opinion on who Pacquiao can choose as an opponent. But to Freddie Roach, it is all to clear.

According to Roach in an interview with Therewillbeblood.com, he states, “We can make twice the amount of money fighting Cotto than we can Shane. So that’s the way we are gonna go, it’s a business right now.”

Roach continued to add, “Shane came to my gym twice to negotiate the fight with me. I say Shane can you make 142, 143, he says no. I say well then there’s no fight. He says you fought Oscar at 147, I say you’re not Oscar.”

“He’s better than Oscar, you know the thing is, why should I give him an advantage you know. Manny holds the 140 pound title, we’re not looking to go up and fight for his title.”

Yet Pacquiao went up and took Cotto’s welterweight belt at the catch weight of 145?

After the one sided beat down of Top Rank compatriot Clottey, Pacquiao decided to face the currently inactive and controversial Antonio Margarito.

Margarito entered his bout against Pacquiao having recently struggled against perennial tomato can Roberto Garcia. Before the Garcia fight, Margarito was suspended a year from boxing because of his illegal hand wrap situation.

Even before his suspension took place, in his first title defense after conquering Miguel Cotto, Margarito was physically dominated and ultimately knocked out by Shane Mosley.

So coming off recent inactivity, a knockout loss and a life and death victory over a fringe contender, Margarito somehow gets a shot against Pacquiao for a vacant junior middleweight title. The same title that was stripped from p4p elite Sergio Martinez. That in itself doesn’t make any kind of sense.

If that isn’t bad enough, there was a catch weight for this fight as well.

The junior middleweight limit is 154 pounds, this bout took place at 150 pounds.

This fight was hyped up and advertised as a David vs. Goliath match up with Margarito being some sort of gigantic, unstoppable force.

But as predicted by actual boxing experts, this fight was heavily one sided in Pacquiao’s favor, although he did have a few scary moments in the fight.

Next up to bat for team Pacquiao, Shane Mosley. This would have been a good fight if the match was made a year or two ago.

But after Pacquiao’s initial refusal to fight, Mosley since went up against and lost a one sided clinic to Floyd Mayweather, and looked dreadful in his draw against Sergio Mora at junior middleweight.

After the two consecutive pitiful performances from Mosley, for whatever reason, Pacquiao decided to face Mosley. What was hyped up as one the great action packed fights of the year turned out to be one of the worst aesthetically pleasing fights of recent memory.

When it was all said and done, it was another one sided victory, over a down the hill, outmatched opponent for Pacquiao.

Which brings us back to Juan Manuel Marquez. They are scheduled to meet in the ring for the third time November 12th of this year.

These two fighters, great in their own right, have a well documented rivalry. Their two previous fights produced a controversial draw and split decision victory for Pacquiao in the second fight.

Honestly, you can make valid arguments for either fighter on as to who won each fight. Many including myself, wanted to see a third fight between the two to cap off the trilogy.

While it is finally happening, I’ll make the case the timing is off and it’s a tad too late for this fight to be happening.

An immediate fight between the two should have followed after the second fight if anything, instead the path Pacquiao chose ran its course, leaving Marquez chasing Pacquiao from division to division.

It was a wise choice for Pacquiao, as his popularity, status in the boxing world and income has sky rocketed because of this path.

Going back to the fight, being that it is at a catch weight of 144 pounds is another problem. The only way for Marquez to get this fight was to agree to fight above 135, where he has no business at.

He tried that once before, and was outclassed against Mayweather in his come back fight after an 18 month absence.

Marquez recently fought a tune up at 140 against some no hoper named Likar Ramos and is body looked terrible. Marquez couldn’t even get up to 140, he weighed in at 138.

In regards to the Pacquiao fight, look, I’ll save you the suspense. Marquez’s style and his ability to counterpunch will always present problems for Pacquiao. Unfortunately for him, he is getting up there in age and he does not carry the extra weight as well as Pacquiao does and is at a disadvantage.

Marquez will have his moments, but I can’t foresee him lasting more than six rounds. The outcome of this fight is not in question. I am curious as to who the next opponent for Pacquiao will be.

Will Pacquiao face recent ko victim Victor Ortiz? Or maybe Zab Judah? Or will it be old rival Erik Morales for a fourth time? Rest assured, I doubt a fight with Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan or anyone who can offer a challenge is on the horizon.

And that’s the thing. The so called p4p king has been facing questionable opposition in recent years. But because he has a nice personality, the backing of major networks and an outstanding promoter, people fail to acknowledge it.

These ESPN and HBO experts either lack the knowledge they claim to have or refuse to acknowledge what the real issue is because they think of Pacquiao as such a nice guy.

Guys like Skip Bayless, Michael Wilbon, Larry Merchant and many others are clearly clueless about the sport or must have some sort of bias.

Sprinkle in some contradicting, biased commentary from old time boxing reporter Bert Sugar and the mission is complete.

One of the few people that calls it like it is and that actually has experience in the boxing world and is renowned for his abilities of being a world class trainer is Teddy Atlas.

Some may ask, who else could Pacquiao have faced to have the legitimacy of being called the p4p king?

At lightweight, or even super featherweight, Pacquiao could of fought guys like Juan Diaz, Zahir Raheem, Joan Guzman, Joel Casamayor or even Michael Katsidis. Instead he fought David Diaz.

At junior welterweight and above, there’s guys like Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, Floyd Mayweather, or even Devon Alexander. But instead it was deteriorated versions of Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.

He could of went out and fought Shane Mosley at an earlier time, but he waited for him to show even more signs of decline. He is probably is waiting on Mayweather to do the same.

The intent of this article isn’t to discredit Manny Pacquiao. He is obviously a talented fighter and has achieved a lot especially as of late.

I am pointing out the obvious, and whether you like it or not the truth is in plain sight.

Refusing to take random blood tests is not a valid excuse to duck Mayweather. If you’re a clean fighter as you claim to be, there shouldn’t be a problem. Ortiz agreed to it, as did Mosley.

You can complain and say the random Olympic style testing is beyond the jurisdiction and not part of the Nevada State Athletic Commission regulations and rules, and you‘re correct in stating that.

But neither are the demands you and your team make. Your weight request for the gloves, the ten million dollar weight penalty and the ring size concessions (that oh by the way Mayweather agreed to) are not part of the rules and regulations of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, for welterweight bouts, the gloves are required to be ten ounces unless both parties can agree to a different weight requirement for the gloves. I believe you wanted eight ounce gloves.

Fighting for titles at catch weights, dictating weight penalties, etc. is not a part of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Getting into the whole blood testing thing is a series of articles in itself. With that said, Mayweather is willing to undergo the same random testing you will be going through. There is no advantage.

And if you continue to refuse to fight Mayweather, then fight a decent fighter in their prime. Step up, test yourself and give the fans a legit reason to cheer for you.

Original Source:

By the time perennial pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring in mid-September, it will be approximately 17-months since he saw action.

Mayweather’s last fight took place in May, against then the top welterweight in the division, “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

Much has changed since his victory over the future hall of fame fighter in their anticipated block buster match.

Former welterweight contemporaries such as Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto and Mosley are no longer a factor in the division, and in the eyes of many, Manny Pacquiao has risen to the ranks of undisputed pound for pound king.

In Mayweather’s anticipated return, he is already accomplishing something Pacquiao has neglected to do for several years now.

And that is facing a young, talented fighter in their prime, like Victor Ortiz.

Ortiz recently stepped up to the welterweight class and already has established himself as one of the best in the division, by completely dominating the undefeated Haitian star Andre Berto.

Granted, Ortiz isn’t the clear cut best fighter in the division, and has flaws just as most fighters do.

But after a overcoming some mental issues inside the ring, Ortiz has bounced back from his unexpected loss from Marcos Maidana.

With a rejuvenated attitude, the Kansas born brawler looks to live up to the potential many critics saw in him when he was coming up as a prospect.

Sometimes referred to as the new “Golden Boy,” Ortiz looks to make well on that name and what better way than facing one of the truly great pugilists of this era in Mayweather.

Some people see this as an easy fight for Mayweather, but that may not be the case in this match up.

Ortiz is a strong fighter, with a swarming style, and he tries to overwhelm his opponents with his aggression and power. Ortiz also has good speed, and as a southpaw, will undoubtedly put up the best effort he can.

As mentioned earlier for Mayweather, he is facing a prime, upper tier fighter, who is entering the with a ton of momentum. Ortiz just ended a fighter’s undefeated streak, and he looks to end another.

Pacquiao as great as he is, has faced questionable opposition in recent years.

After finally getting around to facing Marquez for a third time, it seems at least most fans will be getting what they wished for.

I wish this third fight would of happened a few years sooner.

The match up looks great on paper but more than likely it will not live up to expectations.

Marquez is one of the all- time great fighters in his era, but he will be 38 when he steps in the ring with Pacquiao, and in recent fights he has shown the effects of his age.

Pacquiao faced Mosley who was 39 years old, and coming off two terrible performances. Mosley was completely dominated by Mayweather in May of last year, and “Contender” star Sergio Mora fought Mosley to a lack luster draw.

When Pacquiao faced Antonio Margarito, he was coming off a tune up with a tomato can. And before that tune up against the mediocre Roberto Garcia, Margarito was suspended for a year.

Before Margarito’s suspension, he was outclassed and knocked out by Mosley. It’s bad enough Margarito had to cut an extra four pounds to make the catch weight he and Pacquiao fought at.

Miguel Cotto as well entered in fight against Pacquiao looking not too good in his recent fights. Cotto also had to meet Pacquiao at a catch weight losing and extra two pounds, which I am sure didn’t do him any favors.

Leading up to their fight, Cotto looked bad in his controversial victory over Joshua Clottey, and many argue Cotto hasn’t looked the same since he was beaten to a pulp by Margarito in their fight that took place in 2008.

Ricky Hatton was on the downslide as well. The addition of Floyd Mayweather Sr. in his corner was a miscalculated error, and the best of Hatton was taken out of him when he was knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Just look at Hatton’s come back fight against Juan Lazcano. Hatton was rocked a few times late in the fight, and had the benefit of a hometown referee who used questionable tactics to intervene because Hatton was on the verge of being knocked out.

Oscar De La Hoya was obviously a done deal before he even stepped in the ring against Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s head trainer Freddie Roach knew this, that’s why they took the fight.

De La Hoya was entered this fight meeting at a catch weight in the welterweight division, a division he hasn’t stepped foot for seven years.

The “Golden Boy” was also coming off a loss against Mayweather, and a tough fight against Steve Forbes, and it was obvious De La Hoya wasn’t the great fighter he used to be.

Now it’s easy to find faults in Pacquiao’s recent opposition.

But the same can be said for a lot of fighters. No one has a perfect resume, and even if the guys he faced may have been coming in at a disadvantage, they still signed up and took the fight. If they lost the fight or took a brutalizing beating, that’s on them.

But I wanted to recognize and highlight what Mayweather is doing with his comeback fight.

No Ortiz isn’t the best fighter in the world. But he is a promising fighter on the upside that can be a threat to any fighter out there.

That’s all we should ask of our champions. Take a challenge, and fight some good opposition. Hopefully this fight against is the first step, assuming Mayweather wins, to going against Pacquiao in one of the biggest fights in boxing history.

For now we shall have to wait and see.

Original Source:

Battle of Trainers: The Story of Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez

Kirk Jackson December 8, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 07:  Boxers Manny Pacquiao (L) and Juan Manuel Marquez face off as Top Rank promoter Bob Arum holds the championship belt during the official weigh-in for their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Marquez will fight each other for the fourth time on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

It’s only fitting the future first ballot Hall of Fame fighters, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, are trained by two Hall of Fame trainers.

The trainer of Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, was voted “Trainer of the Year” five times by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America.

The trainer of Marquez, Ignacio Beristain, is a member of the boxing Hall of Fame and considered by many as one of the greatest trainers of all time.

Roach’s claim to world-wide fame is his most prized pupil, Pacquiao.

Roach has worked with other prominent fighters spanning across various sports, including the likes of James Toney, Mike Tyson, Georges St. Pierre, Amir Khan, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Andrei Arlovski, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and many others.

Berstain’s claim to international recognition may have stemmed from his work with Hall of Fame fighter Ricardo Lopez. Beristain led Mexico’s Olympic Boxing Team to medals in 1968, 1976 and 1980.

Beristain has also worked with the likes of Humberto Gonzalez, Daniel Zaragoza, Abner Mares, Jorge Arce, Oscar De La Hoya, Jorge Paez and Rafael Marquez, the brother of Juan.

Aside from being a trainer to their fighters, Roach and Beristain also serve as family-like figures and match-makers to Pacquiao and Marquez, respectively.

Beristain has certainly had a hand in fighting arrangements in the past for Marquez, including in 2006, when he helped secure a fight against WBA Featherweight Champion Chris John in his home country of Indonesia.

The fight didn’t pan out too well for Marquez, as he suffered a controversial unanimous decision defeat and missed out on a more financially rewarding rematch with Pacquiao.

Roach and Pacquiao have had better success in that regard.

Roach helped Pacquiao pick out opponents such as De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, all while they were on the downslides of their physical peaks.

Roach is also a catch-weight enthusiast and did whatever it took to give his fighter any advantage heading into a fight. It may seem wrong in the eyes of some, but he is looking out for the best interest of his fighter.

The mark of a great trainer or coach, is finding ways to motivate your player/fighter and making adjustments round by round and in this case, fight by fight as well.

Over the period of time Roach has been training Pacquiao, there have been some signs of improvement.

Pacquiao’s right hand has developed into a more potent weapon in general, although not always consistent against his rival Marquez, and Pacquiao as he has gotten older, seems more methodical in his attack.

Some may argue Pacquiao’s tamed aggression goes against his strengths as a fighter, while some say he is at his best when he is unpredictable, in which his unpredictable-ness overwhelmed Marquez initially in the first encounter .

As the series has progressed, it seems Marquez has made the more significant adjustments.

For example, his head movement and upper body movement has improved. Marquez ducks his head more to evade punches, lessened his wild-flurry exchanges with Pacquiao as the series has progressed, and he has boxed more effectively down the stretch in their fights.

Marquez went from getting knocked down three times in the first fight, to one knock down in the second fight and not being knocked down or even staggered in the third fight.

That is a credit to his trainer Beristain—a man he has known since his teenage years, and their personal bond and mentor/student chemistry in evident.

Prior to the third fight in 2011 between Marquez and Pacquiao, Roach mentioned Pacquiao’s improvement with his right hand to “The Ring”.

“That right hand of Manny’s has improved since their first two fights,” said Roach. “I told Manny I won’t be satisfied until his right hand is as good as his left hand. Now it is at this point.”

I haven’t seen this “improved right hand” Roach talked about. Aside from his right jab that he uses to measure his opponent, not much comes from the right hand of Pacquiao.

There were also talks of Pacquiao’s improved foot work and balance from Roach.

“He does throw a wild shot here and there, but he’s improved immensely with the footwork,” said Roach. “His balance has gotten a lot better.”

As great as he is, Pacquiao still attacks off balance and gets countered just as badly as he did in all of his previous fights against Marquez.

If anything, Marquez is the one who has made the adjustments, which is even more impressive if you consider his advanced age and athletic disadvantage against Pacquiao.

Roach as held the edge over Beristain in recent years in the win/loss column between their respective fighters, with Roach scoring victories over Marquez and Oscar De La Hoya under Beristain’s tutelage.

This has been a bad year so far for Roach, with his big-name fighters taking losses. Chavez suffered a defeat to the reigning middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez, Khan suffered a knock-out loss to rising star Danny Garcia, and Pacquiao lost a controversial split decision victory to Timothy Bradley.

I’m sure Roach and Pacquiao want to get a win to finish the year out. I’m also certain they want to score a knock out against Marquez to solidify their dominance in this historic rivalry.

The problem for them is, Beristain and Marquez want to do the same. Marquez feels he won all three fights and wants to put a stamp on his legacy by winning their fourth fight in dominant fashion.

Many questions entering this fourth fight still remain.

After studying the three previous fights, can Roach and Pacquiao come out with a strategy that will ensure a dominant victory over Marquez? Can they find away to make Pacquiao’s right hand the difference maker in the fight?

Will the distraction outside the ring—politics, endorsement deals, new-found religion—get the best of Pacquiao? Does he still have the focus and motivation to want to prove he’s the best fighter in the world without a doubt?