by David P. Greisman
Ronnie Shields (Pacquiao): “I think Pacquiao wins again by a close split decision. Marquez is a slow starter. There’s nothing they can do to make him start faster. I think he’s going to get behind on the scorecards early. He’ll catch up again, coming down to the last couple rounds, and I think that’s when Pacquiao will pull it out.
“I think that Pacquiao’s combination punching at the end always seems to be a little bit more than everybody else’s right now. And I don’t see Marquez doing anything to change that. He really has to hurt Pacquiao to change that, and I just don’t see that happening, because Pacquiao has great feet. He moves around the ring very well, and he fires combinations like crazy. I don’t think Marquez will be able to keep up with that.”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (No pick): “First and foremost, I think the fans win. They’re the winners of the big fight. As far as who’s going to win, I don’t want to pick a winner, because I think boxing is so corrupt that you really can’t pick a winner. That’s just how it is. I will never pick a winner. I’m going to keep on saying that boxing is corrupt. Anytime Pacquiao beats [Timothy] Bradley 9-3 in rounds, and they give it to Bradley — I mean, everyone in the stadium is not blind. And then [Brandon] Rios and [Richard] Abril — you really can’t pick a winner, because that’s how corrupt boxing is.
“That’s why we have no commercials, nothing that will elevate an elite fighter, like endorsements. We don’t have none of that for the elite fighter, because the game is so corrupt, and the promoters, the sanctioning bodies, everything is just so corrupt. That’s why I won’t pick a winner, basically, for the big fights.”
Sam Garcia (Pacquiao): “I’m going to go with Pacquiao. I’m going to believe him this time. I’m going to believe that he’s going to win by knockout. I think that he’s motivated enough. You can always go based on what you see on 24/7 or what you hear in the gyms. From what I hear, he’s looking really good, really strong and focused. You know if Pacquiao’s focused and 100 percent, then there’s not too many people in the world who can beat him or give him trouble. So I’m going to pick him by stoppage. I say inside of eight.”
“I just think that Marquez has dealt with Pacquiao as good as he can deal with Pacquiao. Maybe Marquez has lost a step. He’s a little bit older and he’s at a heavier weight. I think he handled the weight better in the last couple fights he’s fought. But I just think Pacquiao is a better fighter all-around if he’s mentally correct. That’s what I’m basing my pick on, basically, is he’s mentally ready to go, that he’s motivated by Freddie and the other people at the Wild Card.”
John Scully (Pacquiao): “I’ll go with Pacman in another close but somewhat clearer decision. I think Pacman is still in line for the Mayweather fight, that there’s still some hope, while Marquez may never be an option based on his first fight with Floyd. Really close rounds will probably go to Pacquiao.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]