Originally Posted by davebenoit
Dear Juan Manuel Marquez
NOVEMBER 13, 2011
MICHAEL D. SELLERS
Dear Juan Manuel Marquez,
First, congratulations on an excellent performance against Manny Pacquiao on November 12. You demonstrated that more than any other fighter, you have figured out the Pacquiao puzzle. You deserve great credit for that.
In your post fight interview you said you were robbed, and that you might retire. That’s understandable in the heat of the moment right after the fight, but after you’ve had a chance to reflect on it, I hope you will elect to continue. It is clear you have the skills and physical ability, and Bernard Hopkins has certainly taught us that 38 is not as old as we thought it was. Your performance against Manny reinforces that.
If you elect to continue fighting, and in particular if you elect to challenge Manny Pacquiao to a fourth fight, I would respectfully suggest that you need to be aware of some realities about judges scoring. Had you been more fully concious and accepting of them this time, you might have won the fight by pushing yourself harder in the later rounds when the fight still hung in the balance. True, by pushing yourself you would be exposing yourself to more risk — even to a possible knockout, but that is always the way of it when you are the challenger attempting to take the belt away from the champion.
The judges in Nevada are charged to look for a) clean, effective punching, b) effective aggression, c) ring generalship, and d) defense. A study of how US (and most other) judges score over the last 10 years shows that in a close fight, the judges almost always favor the fighter who presses the action and is perceived as the aggressor in the fight. Being the aggressor almost always generates a higher punch output, and even if the punches aren’t completely clean, the judges reward the attacking style which, even if it doesn’t result in clean punches, does expose the aggressor to greater risk than his opponent–something that the judges evidently feel should be rewarded. Your reliance on counterpunching, while it may produce cleaner landed shots, will always put you at a disadvantage with judges in a close fight if you rely heavily on the counterpunching style and do not act as the aggressor.
To state the equation very clearly: The very act of launching an attack against a composed, skillful opponent whose guard is up is a risky manuever which exposes the attacker. By taking that risk and launching that attack, the attacker gains favor in the eyes of the judges, and even if his punches don’t land as cleanly as your counterpunches, he gets credit for a) forcing the action and being the aggressor, b) taking the risk associated with attacking a skilled, waiting opponent.
In your first two fights with Manny Pacquiao, while you were oriented toward counterpunching, you also launched offensive attacks and in both of those fights you had a higher volume of punches that Pacquiao; a higher landed punch total; and a higher number of solid, compelling punches. But in those fights — he knocked you down four times. There is no doubt that if you had not been knocked down, you would have won both those fights because all of the other statistics were in your favor.
But this is not true of your most recent fight. In that fight Pacquiao had a higher volume of attacks; higher volume of punches; higher number of landed punches; higher number of landed powershots. Your counters were effective and in some cases dramatic — but by its very nature, your counterpunch oriented approach will impress the fans (and your trainer, evidently), but not the judges — at least it won’ t impress them enough to offset the advantages that Pacquiao is gaining from his constantly being the aggressor; constantly exposing himself to risk by launching attacks against a waiting opponent; and in doing so generating an overall impression that he’s moving forward while you’re moving backwards; he’s getting off more punches (hence taking more risk); he’s landing more punches even if they’re not as clean (after all he’s punching a waiting opponent, not an exposed one).
Also, if I may offer one other piece of advice. In each of these fights, your Hall of Fame trainer Mr. Berestain has repeatedly told you in the corner between rounds that you are winning the fight. By now, given your highly intelligent nature, you must realize that no matter what Mr. Berestain says, you must keep fighting as if you are not ahead. You are the challenger; the underdog; and you are using a counterpunching style that puts you at a disadvantage with judges. You must never assume you are ahead. In the fight on November 12, if you had gone into the “championship rounds” with the attitude that you must win these rounds, the outcome of the fight might have been different.
A Fight Fan who appreciates what you bring to the sport