Marquez-Single Minded Focus

 

Going into the fourth fight, everyone knew that Marquez had what it takes to beat  Pacquiao.  They are each other’s villains to their own personal heroes.  In simple boxing terms, each one can beat the other depending on how fate determines the outcome.

As fate would have it, Marquez knocks Pacquiao outcold in the sixth round of their fourth meeting.  This definitive win comes after three very close battles wherein Pacquiao came out the winner in 2 of them.  Though that might be the case,   many believed that those wins were not conclusive as to who was the better fighter.  Marquez made sure in this last win that that question will be clearly anwered.

But this time, Marquez took control to the point that fate had nothing to do with the outcome.  He showed that night  that if one does  everything right, fate will favor you.

IT’S EITHER HIM OR ME

Right after agreeing to the fight, Team Marquez quickly went straight to work and mapped out a plan.  Reports prior to the fight reflected that Marquez was out to win the fight decisively.  To do so, the team knew that they had to have fundamental changes in their strategy, preparation and implementation.

He had to go all out and bring the fight to Pacquiao.   Being a counter-puncher, the only way Marquez  scored telling blows against the Filipino is when the latter was coming forward.    He had to get Pacquiao to attack so he can throw his own right straights. Marquez has gone down so many times against Pacquiao and the Mexican knows that if Pacquiao engages him, there is a huge possibilty that he will hit the canvass himself.   To knock down Pacquiao, Marquez knew that he had to risk getting knocked down himself.

DO THE SAME THING, GET THE SAME RESULT

To do this, Marquez’ corner knew they had to do something drastically different.  Although we hear this quite often, what he needed to do was to get stronger and faster.

Marquez has hurt Pacquiao a couple of times but has never dropped the Filipino.  He knows that he will not get a lot of chances to hit Pacquiao so he must find a way to ensure that every punch that connect  count.  This is why he needed more power in his fists.

Speed is Pacquiao’s main advantage and to be able  to tag Pacquiao with telling blows, he must be able to match the speed of the 8 division champion.  He needs to get fast enough to throw his counter punches at the most appropriate time.

To do so,his training regimen had to change.  They knew that if they trained the same way, the result would most probably the same.

Marquez trained for a total of 16weeks.  Double Pacquiao’s 8 week training schedule.  Marquez became a hermit, training away for the lights, media ,friends and family.  He needed to sacrifice if indeed he were to reach his goal.  Over and above his boxing training he embarked on a strength and conditioning program specifically created to achieve the power and speed level needed.

On weigh in day, Marquez came out as a chissled 39 year old warrior.  He was bigger but lighter that Pacquiao.  He weighed in at an official 143 lbs to Pacquiao’s 147lbs.

Everyone should have taken that as a sign.

WEAKNESS IN STRENGTH

One of  the first steps in creating strategy is for one to determine the weakness in your opponents strengths.

Pacquiao speed is legendary.  Del la Hoya, Hatton,Margarito and even Marquez know this.   One must build a strategy based on the inherent weakness of this strength.

Many have already pointed this out and Marquez has been able to capitilize on this on a few occassions.  Pacquiao has a tendency, for a split second put down his right hand as he lunges to finish his 1-2 combination.  This combination of Pacquiao is made more lethal because he moves forward with lighting speed even as  forward jumps from a distance throw it.    In other words, because of the speed by which the combination is thrown and the movement of Pacquio’s hands to effectively let go of the combination, he drops his hands for a moment

An inherent weakness behind the Filipino’s best punch.

RIGHT HAND LEAD

It is not a secret that the way to fight a left handed fighter is for the orthodox boxer to learn how to throw a right hand lead.  This punch is already strategically positioned at an angle that one needs to just simply throw it at the best opportune time.  Any other combination after this are geared to simply mix things up but truly once a right handed fighter finds the target, a soutpaw will have a difficult time.

Marquez knew that he could hit Pacquiao with this punch because he has done so many time in the past.  What was lacking is power to make it count.

GOAL-STRATEGY-EXECUTION

Marquez’ goal was to knock out Pacquiao.  The strategy was to find the right moment to throw the right hand lead at the Filipino’s moment of weakness.   He prepared to become faster to enable him to time the punch  and he trained to become stronger to ensure that when that time comes , his right striaght will take its toll on the 8 division champion.

On the 2:59 minute mark of the 6th round,  Marquez unleashed his right hand at the very moment Pacquiao was moving forward to throw his 1-2 combination.  At the time, his right hand was down, after already each fighter being floored once, and Pacquiao was ahead by 1 point in all of the scorecards.   The right hand lead found its mark connecting with all the power he can muster, Marquez knocks down Pacquiao outcold.

LESSONS

Marquez had only one thing in mind.  He simply wanted to knockout Pacquiao with that right hand.  He packed that fist with all the power his newly built muscles can provide.  He practiced the timing for 16 weeks and he risked everything for that one single moment.

If that moment did not come,  by all indications, Pacquiao would have won this fight, either by a knockout or he would be way ahead on points.  But the moment did come and Marquez took it.

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