SI analyst predicts Pacquiao will lose in 2012
MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will lose a boxing match in 2012 for the first time in seven years, a boxing analyst from Sports Illustrated predicted.
Pacquiao has not lost a bout since his unanimous decision setback to Erik Morales in 2005, but Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix is predicting that Pacquiao will lose to Juan Manuel Marquez this year.
"The two rivals have seen their careers become as intertwined as Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier," Mannix said of Pacquiao and Marquez.
"In 36 rounds, only one--Pacquiao's 3-knockdown first round in the first fight--has truly been decisive," he added.
Mannix said that since a mega-fight against undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr. will not be possible until June, a fourth fight with Marquez "is the only natural option."
"And in another back-and-forth battle (likely fought in front of 50,000-plus fans at Cowboys Stadium) Marquez will finally get the win that has eluded him," Mannnix predicted.
Pacquiao and Marquez have fought three times, with all three bouts resulting in controversial decisions. The latest installment, held last November 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, saw Pacquiao eke out a majority decision victory despite struggling against Marquez all night.
Mannix is also predicting that the most highly anticipated fight in boxing, Pacquiao vs Mayweather, will not happen in 2012.
"Mayweather's recently handed down jail sentence likely ruins any chance of making Mayweather-Pacquiao in the first half of the year," Mannix said. "If Pacquiao loses (against Marquez), there will undoubtedly be a fifth fight between the two, pushing any matchup with Mayweather into 2013."
Exciting fight for Donaire
Mannix also predicted that Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire will meet Cuban boxer Yuri Gamboa in an exciting match-up later in 2012.
"Gamboa and Donaire are both explosive talents that always look for the knockout," he said.
Donaire will make his debut at the junior featherweight division in February 2012 against Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr., while Gamboa will move to the super featherweight division in March.
Although the two boxers fight in different weight divisions, Mannix expects that they will meet later in 2012.
"The lack of quality opponents for either will lead to matchup between the two Top Rank-promoted fighters by the end of the year," he said.
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