by David P. Greisman
Ronnie Shields (Pacquiao): “I think Pacquiao wins. I think he’s still too big and too strong. He’s been at that weight for a while now. He’s fought some big guys at that weight. Marquez has only been up that way one time, but his last couple fights have been back down at 135. I don’t care how big he gets. He still won’t be able to handle Pacquiao’s speed and power, I don’t believe. I’m going to say Pacquiao by late stoppage. After like seven, eight rounds, I think Pacquiao will knock him out.
“Marquez, man, he’s one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen in my life. But it’s not like they’re both at 135 pounds anymore. When they were at the same weight and were fighting at the same weight for a very long time, I think they were evenly matched. But I think right now, Pacquiao is so used to that weight, man, and he knows how to maneuver around in that ring. He’s such a fast starter, but he’s also a great finisher. I just think Pacquiao’s going to be too much.”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (Pacquiao): “I think Pacquiao wins. Marquez, I don’t think he will be able to hold that weight the right way, because he said in one of the articles I read that he was pumping a lot of iron. And that would only slow him down, when Manny Pacquiao relies on speed, and speed is power. If Marquez stands to slug with Pacquiao, it’ll be a quick fight. Marquez will never be good against anything over 140. I think this [fight] calls for 144. That’s playing right into Pacquiao’s hands.”
Kevin Cunningham (Pacquiao): “I got to go with Pacquiao. I think he’s a totally different fighter, as opposed to the other two previous fights they had in the past. He’s definitely a lot more explosive, a lot more powerful, and he’s gotten used to fighting at this weight. He’s been fighting the bigger guys for a lot longer than Marquez.
“Marquez stepped up once and fought Mayweather, and that was a total mismatch. Pacquiao’s been here in the welterweight division, not only has he fought in the heavier division and the heavier guys, he’s been dominant. He’s going to be just too big, too fast, too strong. I don’t think he’s the same fighter that Marquez faced when they were featherweights.
“I think there could be a stoppage, eighth or ninth round, Pacquiao stops him. He’s just going to dominate, he’s going to overwhelm Marquez. By the eighth or ninth round, there should be a stoppage.
“I’ve seen Marquez get with this new strength and conditioning guy. He’s bulked up pretty good. But I don’t know how much that’s going to help him out. With his heart, and his experience, and his ability, he’s definitely a world-class champion, and he’s one of the best fighters in the game. That’ll keep him around for eight or nine rounds. But I just don’t think this fight is going the distance.”
John Scully (Pacquiao): “I go with Pacquiao. Can’t go against him. I just feel like he was able to hurt Marquez before, and Mayweather was able to hurt him. I just don’t see him as being able to move up in weight with any type of success like Pacquiao did.
“People bring up the other fights between him, the two fights, and you can very well make a case for Marquez winning those fights, but that’s just two different people now. The Pacquiao fighting Saturday is not the same guy who fought before by any stretch.
“And the motivation for Pacquiao is greater. I think both fighters come in with equal motivation, but once the punches start landing, I think Pacquiao is going to be more comfortable than Marquez. I guess Marquez would be cagey enough to get through the fight, maybe by decision, but I think he’s going to fight, I think he’s going to try to fight hard and probably end up getting worn down, and maybe around the eighth or ninth round, they’ll probably stop it in the corner.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]