In a statement to Kieran Mulvaney of ESPN, Juan Manuel Marquez admitted that Manny Pacquiao has improved significantly, however he has a plan.
"Obviously he's changed over the years," Marquez said. "He uses his right hand more, he has a little more speed. But obviously I know all of that, so I've adjusted my work to that. My strategy is to nullify all of that."
First of all, it is good that Marquez admits that Pacquiao is pretty much a completely different fighter from the one he fought in 2008. Pacquiao has added speed, footwork, and most importantly a powerful right. Pacquiao has been able to wobble opponents with both hands and with just one solid punch. He can stun you early in the fight and he can stun you late, it's game changing power especially at 144 or whatever the catchweight limit is for this fight.
Secondly, I don't like Marquez not mentioning his own development. I want to see him almost get offended at the question and answer back with something like "You don't think I've gotten significantly better since then as well?" Maybe I just like my fighters to be a little bit more combative and confident in the press room. Also the answer of "[I will] nullify all of that" is extremely vague. I know that he does not want to give away any secrets from training camp but he could really articulate his confidence a bit better than this.
I want this to be a good fight, I really do, but I just cannot see it happening. Pacquiao has advanced so much since the last fight and Marquez has really just gotten older. His best win since the last Pacquiao fight was over an older Casamayor with other decent wins over Juan Diaz and Katsidis. Yet these wins are nothing close to the quality of Manny's resume. What do you guys think? Has Marquez improved enough to hang with/beat Pacquiao or will the ‘little guy' blow him out of the building?