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Sports

Marquez: Pacquiao ‘more cautious’

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Juan Manuel Marquez thinks that his brutal knockout of Manny Pacquiao in 2012 has made the Filipino boxing superstar a completely different fighter.

Marquez watched Pacquiao’s recent fight against Jessie Vargas, and though Pacquiao was impressive inside the ring, he was not the same old boxer.

“He looks different compared to the Manny Pacquiao we know, with the speed and power,” Marquez, who hasn’t fought in two years, told www.boxingscene.com.

Pacquiao floored Vargas in the second round with a left to the face but was dragged into 12 rounds by the younger and taller Mexican-American.

Vargas landed his own good shots the rest of the fight, mostly with his right hand, and forced Pacquiao to fight a more cautious fight.

Pacquiao, in the end, remained without a knockout win since he stopped Miguel Cotto in 2009.

Michael Koncz, the ring adviser of Pacquiao, said when Vargas went down in the second round and continued to take hits later on, he thought a knockout was coming.

But Pacquiao had a change of plans inside the ring.

“The performance that Manny had, I felt, was good. I would’ve liked it to be a little bit more spectacular maybe a knockout or something,” Koncz told Filipino scribes after the fight.

“You know I asked Manny why when you were pressuring you were doing great and I thought the knockout was coming but at times you were not throwing punches.

“And then Manny said that, his words were, ‘Mike, I saw he was countering with the right hand so I had to change my strategy a little bit so it became a little bit more...’” said Koncz.

Pacquiao became cautious and opted to coast to another victory on points.

“He was thinking a lot more and more safer,” said Koncz.

Marquez said it’s a sign that the knockout suffered by Pacquiao against Marquez in the sixth round of their fourth showdown continues to haunt the Filipino.

“I saw a different fighter, more cautious, more thoughtful in his attacks, and that helps you to ensure that your opponent doesn’t knock you out. We saw that he is still thinking about that knockout loss, we saw it against Jessie Vargas,” said Marquez.

“Those right hand blows that landed from Jessie Vargas made Manny Pacquiao think. Getting hit with that right hand counter is still fresh in his memory,” added the 43-year-old Mexican.

JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ

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