MANILA, Philippines – Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard refuses to predict the result of the fourth encounter between rivals Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, but believes the fight will be a pivotal point in the careers of both boxers.
In an interview with Lem Satterfield of RingTV, the Hall-of-Famer insisted that he cannot pick a winner between Pacquiao and Marquez because of the close nature of their rivalry.
“These guys know each other that well. They’ve been through wars with each other, and it depends on which of them you ask as to who has won their fights,” said Leonard.
“It really doesn’t make a difference, though, because this fight here is the most defining moment for these two guys and these two fighters,” he added.
All three of Pacquiao and Marquez’s previous bouts went down to controversial decisions, with their first fight in 2004 ending up in a draw. Pacquiao won both rematches in 2008 and 2011, although Marquez insists he won all three fights.
Leonard expects more of the same in the fourth fight.
“It’s just the styles between Pacquiao and Marquez, so you can’t call it. You just can’t,” he stressed. “Based on how these three fights have turned out, it was never a blowout.”
“Think about that: It was never a blowout. There was always a deciding factor of who won the last round, or whatever the case may be,” he added.
Although he refuses to choose a winner, Leonard is sure of one thing: the fourth fight will put a definitive end to the Pacquiao-Marquez saga.
“This one here... is more significant, I think. Even though they’re older, I mean, no question about it. It’s the most definitive,” Leonard said.
Leonard is no stranger to rivalries, having fought fellow Hall-of-Famers Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler in a series of fights in the 1980s.