Juan Manuel Marquez would be a fool not to alter his approach in his fourth fight against Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 8.
All three of the previous meetings have been close, but officially, Marquez hasn't won any of the prior meetings. His counter-punching style is part of what gives Pacquiao problems, but he must add a few wrinkles if he wants to come away with more than another moral victory.
Throw More Counter-Combinations
Marquez does this at times, but even when he does, he throws two shots at the most. Sometimes there is more left on the table but Marquez pushes away from it satisfied. He needs to be a little more greedy in these situations.
It is a riskier approach, but at this point in his career and in this saga, he has nothing to lose.
Marquez needs to look for the stoppage, and this is one of the best ways to accomplish that. This approach will also allow him to score with volume punching, which could give him an edge if the fight goes the distance again.
Digging to the Body Early
Both Pacquiao and Marquez can be headhunters, but with Pacquiao seemingly having stamina issues in his last few fights; digging to the body isn't a bad idea. Marquez may be able to set him for some later opportunities.
When Erik Morales defeated Pacquiao in 2005, he put money in the bank early by going to the body. Check out these highlights from that fight:
Marquez needs to do the same thing with digging uppercuts and hooks.
Tying Up on the Inside
This saga has been all about its violent exchanges, but if Marquez can turn this into a partial wrestling match, it could work to his advantage.
He could wear Pacquiao down and slow the pace of the fight as well.
Pacquiao likes to dart in and out with power shots. The clinching could work to throw him from his rhythm. Frustrating Pacquiao can make him press. Pressing create a huge opportunity to land a fight-changing counter-shot.
All of these strategies are fine and dandy, but I think we all know what to expect come Dec. 8, and that is another slug fest.
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