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Hopkins' Trainer: Marquez a Better Fighter Than Pacquiao

By Chris Robinson

The talk of the boxing world is still revolved around this weekend’s third clash between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. Inside of a shocked crowd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Marquez, a huge underdog heading in, would defy the odds with a spirited and game effort that many felt should have led him towards victory despite the majority-decision verdict that went against him.

The next move for Pacquiao seems to be uncertain, as his promoter Bob Arum mentioned that a fourth fight with Marquez could be a possibility while the fight everyone wants from him is a dream fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Who knows how everything will play out but for the moment Pacquiao has been taking some criticism from some boxing insiders who felt he didn’t do enough to beat Marquez and were surprised at his inability to mount a sustained attack on Saturday night.
 
One man with some interesting observations on the fight and its many subplots is esteemed trainer Naazim Richardson, known best for his work with Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley. Always one to speak with great insight, Richardson knows Pacquiao very well, having led Mosley into battle against him this past May in a result that saw him come up short after twelve frustrating rounds.
 
During our recent conversation, Richardson shared why he feels that Marquez is a better fighter than Pacquiao, the weaknesses that are easy to see in Manny, the bold proclamations coming from Pacquiao’s camp this time around, and much more.
 
This is what Naazim had to say…

Why Marquez is a better fighter than Pacquiao...
“I picked Marquez to win. Marquez is a better fighter than Pacquiao. He’s just not as strong. I thought Marquez won. I thought Marquez won the other fights. Marquez knows how to fight Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s not as good a fighter as Marquez. He’s just more explosive and Marquez is so aggressive at times that his aggression played against him in the other fights. When he started having success, what he normally does with everybody, he starts pressuring guys, and when he starts pressuring Pacquiao, Pacquiao gets the knockdown and the knockdowns make the difference." 

I’d be suspicious too…
“But Marquez is a much more technically sound boxer than Pacquiao. Marquez, pound for pound, might be the best fighter in boxing from a technical standpoint. Nobody’s as talented as Floyd. And nobody’s as explosive as this kid Pacquiao. They called me a couple of weeks ago and asked me what I thought of Marquez-Pacquiao, and I said if Pacquiao blows Marquez out, I’d be suspicious. I would hold some suspicions if Pacquiao blows Marquez out. If he can beat Marquez easy, then in my eyebrows would raise to. It’s already proven that Marquez is a better fighter than Pacquiao.”

Another level of boxing…
“And I think that’s why they got so excited about pushing the issue of separating them in this fight, how the third fight would make the final decision, how they wanted to shut up Nacho Beristain’s mouth up, and I understand all that emotion coming out, because you got labeled the best fighter in boxing. But you have to know that this kid is better than him. Until they match up him and Mayweather, they aren’t going to let nobody beat Pacquiao unless they knock him out. Taking nothing away from Pacquiao, he’s a phenomenal fighter, and probably the most dangerous cat in the game, especially in any of those weights lower than Klitschko, but Marquez is another level of boxing. Marquez is Alexi Arguello, Marquez is Ricardo Lopez. He’s the little professor, Azumah Nelson.”

Keeping Pacquiao vs. Mayweather alive…
“Like I said, Emanuel [Steward], being the commentator, he tries to stay in that position, but at heart as a coach and a competitor and even he had to admit that they still wanted a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. They want to keep that alive. Who doesn’t make money in that?  Reporters get to write. You guys are going to be writing all night long when Mayweather and Pacquiao get together. Vegas will make money. Casinos will sell. Even guys selling hotdogs and popcorn is going to make more money. Marquez and Mayweather is not going to draw that. Marquez and Pacquiao won’t draw that and Marquez had to keep that in mind. So, when they were starting to read the scores it didn’t surprise me. Because Mayweather is the only person in there allowed to beat Pacquiao by decision right about now.”

People will see it…
“People are not realizing something I said, when Shane fought Pacquiao. And I know they thought I looked crazy. They said ‘Naazim is out of his mind. What is he talking about?’. I said ‘You just showed somebody else how to beat him’. I was surprised dudes weren’t running at him. I told Shane, but I would never reveal it, because as far as I’m concerned you hired me, you paid me to give you that information. I won’t reveal that information to anybody else. But people will see it. Nobody’s stupid. Nobody’s blind.”

Pacquiao’s defect…
“You can easily go back and watch Shane Mosley box Pacquiao and you see him get hurt and you wonder why he never gets hurt again. And if you just watch the fight and once you see that, every fighter is going to apply that method. Marquez did it in this fight and everybody else is going to do it. And once that’s revealed, eventually it’s just a matter of a timeline. It’s whether Freddie is going to make adjustments to the guy because it’s hard because the defect he has, he’s had since he’s been boxing. So for them to change it now, I even saw when they were trying to change it. So, like I said, I don’t underestimate anybody, so for me to sit here and think that the Mayweather and their high IQ of boxing that they have, they haven’t see in, would be ludicrous for me to think in that capacity.”

If you watch the fight…
“Ok, they said he fights with leg cramps. I don’t dispute it. But all I can say is, I watched the fight with my son and all these other people and all they kept going on was about how well Pacquiao was moving. ‘Look at the way he moves his legs, look at the way he moves his legs’. Then I heard the people saying ‘Well Pacquiao has a right hand now. He didn’t have a right hand before’. And if you watch the fight, I can’t remember the round, when Jim Lampley says it, immediately after he says it, Pacquiao does it. He said ‘Before all Pacquiao did was jab, jab, straight left hand’. And immediately after he says it, Pacquiao jabs, jabs, throws a straight left hand then jabs, jabs, and throws another straight left hand. I was concentrating on the development of the right arm, how it was so much more educated, and I watched for that. I saw him throw one right hook that I thought landed.”

Bringing God into an equation...
“You caught some of that 24/7 I’m sure. They were saying ‘Greatest camp ever’. ‘Greatest training ever’. Ariza said ‘God himself’ couldn’t help Marquez. That means they are better than God now. Ariza said God himself couldn’t help this dude. God himself? A statement like ‘God himself’, to me that’s not a big head, that’s something else. When you bring God into an equation, I understand you are trying to make a point, but what you do is, once you bring God into it, there’s no excuse. There’s nothing else. Now you have to think, are the leg cramps a Godsend? You know what I mean? Since you brought it up that God himself couldn’t do nothing, maybe God wanted to prove that he could.”

There’s no limit…
“But my thing is that man, there’s a reason I don’t say things of that nature. I don’t tell people ‘There will never be another Ray Robinson’. You know what you are actually saying? You’re saying God did the best he could actually do. But when you say there will never be another Jordan, there will never be another Ray Robinson, there will never be another Muhammad Ali, you are basically saying God broke the mold when he made those dudes. And it could never get better than this. I don’t see how , if you could mention God’s name in things, that you could assume things like that. For those of us who seem like we hold a relationship with God, there’s no limit. There’s no limit. I can’t even fathom to tell my kids ‘You could never be as good as another man’.  I’ve never seen a man who made me think in that capacity. ‘Wow, we’ll never see another man like this’. It’s just a man.”

[Reader's note: For an inside look at the Pacquiao-Marquez III event please visit the following slideshows - Bonus shots and behind the scenes at the post-fight presser ]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-16-2011

[QUOTE=tusc1976;11433586]Spoken like a true "Hater".[/QUOTE] Dude, there is [B]NO SUCH THING !![/B] You just made that up ;) [B]FACT:[/B] Hate is worthless, and can easily be discredited. Just try harder ;)

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-16-2011

[QUOTE=tusc1976;11433586]Spoken like a true "Hater". You're so transparent that it's funny actually. You might want to try looking up the word "subtle" next time.[/QUOTE] It will NEVER happen ^^ I dont do " [I]subtle[/I] ", and I have no understanding…

Comment by tusc1976 on 11-16-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;11428419]NO dude, get real...... Pacquiao himself, his idiot fanbase, and his lying cunt of a promoter, have [B]ALL[/B] proudly proclaimed that Manny is the GOAT. [B]FACT:[/B] he got dished up by a 38yo midget who is not the GOAT :lol1:…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-16-2011

[QUOTE=Bushbaby;11432983]It does not apply. The reason a black boxing fan may dislike Pacman is because of how the media & the average uneducated casual fan disprespect Floyd while praising Pacman for the same thing. I personally have not found a…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-16-2011

[QUOTE=drunken_master;11432893]Richardson also forgot to mention that JMM is way better than BHOP because JMM doesnt roll around on the canvas crying like a little BI TCH.[/QUOTE] Maybe we should wait until Marquez is nearly 50 before we jump to that…

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