This time, Manny Pacquiao has a plan: though it's not a very good one.
Pac-Man explained to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times that when he steps into the ring with Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, he's doing so with a plan of attack—which is simply to attack.
Aggressiveness is the most important thing for this fight.
In and out, in and out, side by side. Speed, hip movement. We have a Plan A and Plan B. The plans are to pressure and counter him. Move my head. A lot of work.
If there’s a chance (for a knockout), I’m going to do my best to make the fight look easy.
Make it look easy? Knock out Marquez?
You have to wonder whether Pac-Man doesn't need a quick refresher course on their first three bouts, all three which went the distance only to be settled on the judges' scorecards, which as we learned from their last meeting, can deliver highly questionable results.
This fight is more about Pacquiao redeeming himself in the eyes of his fans and silencing the critics more than it's about anything else.
I have to prove they’re wrong. My last two or three fights have not been impressive, but guys are running and running from me after I hit them. I thought Marquez ran all night, and [Timothy] Bradley backed off.
I’m still young and strong.
Pac-Man might be the younger, stronger fighter, and perhaps his opponents have been running from him inside the ring after he lands a few shots.
But there's one thing Pacquiao said during his interview that his new desire to knock JMM out will prove to be incorrect:
“Who’s smarter? I believe myself. You’re going to see that in the ring. This time will be different.”
Going for the knockout against a fighter who has never hit the canvas in 61 career bouts—something Pacquiao himself has never been able to accomplish—is not a great idea, especially when you consider that for as many hits as he delivers, Pac-Man gets hit equally as hard—and as often.
It's been three years since Pacquiao knocked an opponent out.
He's a different fighter than he used to be, and trying to return to his heavy-hitting ways will prove to be costly in the end.
Pac-Man needs to fight his fight—not the fight that he thinks will silence his critics.