The first bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez was a rather one sided 180-second affair, which found Pacman winning by a four point margin.

The rematch was scheduled and took place in record time, a mere minute after the first bout concluded. The rematch found master boxer, master counter-puncher Marquez evening up the series, thus creating tonight’s tie breaker.

And that's exactly how it happened. How all these “experts” can't get past all those first round knockdowns and see what really happened the other 33 minutes mystifies me.

Here's why I believe the first round unfolded the way it did.

There are many counter-punching right-handers you can bring into Camp Paquiao who can emulate what JMM will attempt to do.

But in filling Marquez's training camp needs, where do you find a left-hander with Pac's skill set?

You can't.

So although JMM prepared with the help of southpaws, none could have truly have gotten him ready for Manny.  And I offer Round 1 as proof.  And yet as badly as the first round went for Marquez, many, many, many feel that it was Marquez who should have had his hand raised after the final bell.  The fact that Marquez adjusted to Pac’s speed and trajectory of punches just several hundred seconds after first experiencing them is nothing short of incredible.

Don’t make the mistake in believing Marquez was fortunate to survive.  Those knockdowns in the first were more “flash knockdown” than than the variety you'd see after a “Tysonesque Bombardment.” At no time did it appear to me that Marquez could “go” at any moment.  Was he hurt?  I think his ego was more hurt than he was.  I believe he was more rattled than hurt, and there’s a huge difference between the two.
    •    JMM is quite possibly the best kept secret in the fight game
    •    He has suffered only a modest amount of wear and tear over his career.   (Due to extreme difference in style, he just might be the “younger” of the two combatants)
    •    He owns a supreme confidence, and feels he has yet to taste defeat in the ring

The last point is truly one to consider.  JMM believes he has yet to be beaten in the square, on the square. Let's examine his three “losses,” shall we?

Loss #1:  Pro debut
Hand-picked Javier Duran was scheduled for the victim role in Marquez’s career opener.  But thanks to WBC chief Jose Sulaiman, the script was flipped.  The “Sulaiman Rule” reads that if clashed heads cause a cut, the non-bleeding fighter must have a point deducted. Even if the sufferer of the cut was the instigator.

So the round begins, Duran and Marquez clash heads and we go to the scorecards.  Relatively easy fight to score.  Nothing happened yet, a point is deducted and the perfect opponent to debut against ends up becoming the very fortunate victor.  So, unlike most future superstars,  Marquez begins 0-1.

Recap:  The only thing to score at the point of stoppage was “Sulaiman's Rule” so:  Jose Sulaiman 1,  Javier Duran 1, Juan Manuel Marquez 0

Loss #2:  JMM's first attempt to win a world title vs Freddy “L'il Hagler” Norwood
 I wagered the bout (and received unbelievable value on Norwood) but aside from Norwood dropping Marquez, Marquez won easily. But I had forgotten it was boxing, the theater of the unexpected!  They announced the decision, and Voila! Marquez gets snake-bit again. Recap:   Me 1, Freddy Norwood 1, Marquez 0.

Loss #3:  Travel to Indonesia?  Why not!
This junket may have been the worst move since Greg Haugen went to the Providence Civic Center to take on Paziena, ended up with short money and a short reign of his world title.

I was talking to a TSS journalist who attended the JMM-Chris John Fight.
Me: Marquez didn’t have it yesterday, huh?
TSS Journalist: Didn’t you read my column?
Me: (ummm)
TSS Journalist: I asked Chris John and his corner crew after the fight, you actually think you won that fight?
Disclaimer: TSS Journalist resides in Indonesia and is not Hispanic.
Recap:  Thailand 1, Chris John and corner 1, Marquez 0

The Draw
Recap: First round 1, Judges that should be banned 1, Marquez 0 

Prediction: Marquez in a razor thin decision
Value: Marquez $$$$ (out of 4)