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Merchant on Mayweather-Pacquiao, The Marquez Equation

By Chris Robinson

In the first part of my interview with HBO color analyst Larry Merchant, he revealed why Manny Pacquiao may gotten the decision over Juan Manuel Marquez this past weekend in their third encounter in Las Vegas. Pacquiao-Marquez III was another hotly-contested affair that saw Marquez perform much better than expected, and Merchant pointed out that the high expectations for Pacquiao beforehand may have influenced how people viewed the match.
 
As our conversation continued, Merchant touched on the surprising news that Pacquiao’s stable mate and friend, WBA and IBF junior welterweight champion Amir Khan, recently stated that he would be advising Manny to retire. Khan feels that Pacquiao was lucky to have emerged with the victory on Saturday night and feels that the soon-to-be 33-year old may have too much on his plate with his political obligations as well as his growing list of business and personal ventures.
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Merchant also took a look at how Floyd Mayweather Jr. fits into the Pacquiao-Marquez equation, as the undefeated superstar easily handled Marquez two years ago and has been looked at as the ideal foe for Pacquiao for the past few years. Merchant is unsure as to how a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight would play out but feels that the odds would have to favor Floyd at this point.
 
Continue reading for all of Merchant’s takes…
 
Amir Khan stating he would advise retirement for Pacquiao, in a recent interview with The Telegraph…
“I’m a little surprised. They do a lot of sparring and I’ve never actually seen them and I’ve heard it from other that they really do high-level sparring. Keep in mind, I think Khan has been talking about fighting Mayweather some time and this may be an opportunity. If Pacquiao decides to fight Marquez again and if Khan beats Peterson and looks good in December, then Khan and Mayweather could happen. Khan brings a big fan base with him from Britain, maybe from other parts of the world. So that’s not inconceivable, which isn’t to say that’s the only motive that Khan has for saying that. He may just feel that a combination of side-interests, Manny’s political career, and getting older, that he thinks Manny is not going to get any better and might on the far side of his career. So I think maybe that’s his personal observation and feeling from being in the gym with him and maybe that’s also some self-interest regarding Mayweather.”

Whether Pacquiao juggling his hectic schedule takes too much of a toll on him…
“He has, in effect, two full-time jobs. He’s fighting twice a year. Mayweather, who doesn’t have another full-time job, fights about every year or year and a half. Look, I don’t know how much time he has to devote to his political life when he’s training or even when he’s not training. Does he have a chance ever to train, even lightly? I don’t know what Mayweather does. They’re both dedicated athletes. But I think that, to a large measure, this a response to the fight, people expecting Manny to be Superman, look great every time out, and sometimes there are opponents who don’t let you look great.

Speculation…
“And everything else is speculation, to me, based on how he looked in this fight. And yet he looked virtually the same as he did in previous fights with his opponent. The best fighters in the world have never just gone out every time and looked like the best fighter in the world every night. And sometimes, more often than not, that has to do with the opponent. And you give the opponent credit. Whether Manny has slipped because, in part of in large measure because of his large interests, I don’t really know how you judge that based on this fight.”

Rationalizing on Mayweather’s dominant victory over Marquez in September of 2009…
“I give him credit but Manny stopped De La Hoya and knocked out Hatton in two rounds which compares favorably to how Mayweather dealt with those guys. Manny was willing to fight Cotto and Margarito, who Mayweather was not willing to. So I don’t know you compare them. It’s interesting but it’s not conclusive. And you make whatever opinion you have based on whatever you want to make it on. I’ve always said the fighters who give speed fighters problems usually are speed fighters. Particularly as fighters get a little older. So I just give Marquez credit for being able to fight on the high-level that he did.”

Whether the Pacquiao we saw on Saturday night could defeat Mayweather…
“As I’ve said before, Floyd Mayweather would be a favorite in that fight and based on [Pacquiao’s recent] showing, he might be a bigger favorite. But I don’t think that proves or disproves what the equation is between them. And Mayweather is not the same kind of fighter that Marquez is. And Pacquiao is not the same kind of fighter that Marquez is either. So it may be based on a false equation. And that’s boxing and how else are you going to measure it? I think that since it’s ‘What have you done lately?’ there’s likely to be more of a surge of more experts and fans who think Mayweather will win the fight. That’s understandable. But that doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to turn out.”

[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 11-19-2011

[QUOTE=boxer08;11445547]Is it possible that these so-called “experts” have finally sniffed a rag soaked in ammonia and woke up to what I’ve been saying for four years? Could it be that this small but growing number of boxing insiders have finally…

Comment by boxer08 on 11-18-2011

Is it possible that these so-called “experts” have finally sniffed a rag soaked in ammonia and woke up to what I’ve been saying for four years? Could it be that this small but growing number of boxing insiders have finally…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-18-2011

[QUOTE=Brooklyn Iceman;11440772]....speak for yourself..you are the one attempting to convince everybody about Pac, as matter of fact..you are crusading against Pac, I am no boxing expert but I am not dumb fuqk like you are...what happened to the PEDs and…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-18-2011

[QUOTE=Brooklyn Iceman;11440772]....speak for yourself..you are the one attempting to convince everybody about Pac, as matter of fact..you are crusading against Pac, I am no boxing expert but I am not dumb fuqk like you are...what happened to the PEDs and…

Comment by PunchesNbuncheS on 11-18-2011

[QUOTE=puga;11441715]merchant always speaks the truth...:boxing:[/QUOTE] Oh fukk here we go again, shut up b!tch.... Here you go..................................................................................... Sugar Ray Leonard said Marquez won! Marvin Hagler said Marquez won! Bernard Hopkins said Marquez won! Floyd Mayweather said Marquez won! Oscar De…

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