LAS VEGAS – Juan Manuel Marquez has a long history of animosity with longtime rival Manny Pacquiao.
But that has nothing to do with him picking Floyd Mayweather to win over the Pacman in their welterweight title unification match this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Despite Mayweather being the older fighter at 38, the American's defense will be too good to crack even for a volume puncher like Pacquiao, said the man who dealt the Filipino boxing legend the worst loss of his fighting career.
“Mayweather has the perfect style to win this fight,” said Marquez, who arrived in this gambling capital on Tuesday as he will be annotating the 12-round super fight for ESPN Deportes.
“He (Floyd) uses his legs more on the ring. He uses distance. Maybe it’s going to be a difficult fight for Manny, I think.”
Marquez of course, knows where he is coming from.
The 41-year-old Mexican is among the few fighters who had fought both Pacquiao and Mayweather and therefore, knows the two rivals' styles better than anyone.
He lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Mayweather five years ago and won once in four meetings with Pacquiao back in 2012 when he knocked the Filipino southpaw out with a solid counter right just as the sixth round of their welterweight fight was coming to an end.
“Pacquiao has the power and speed, but Mayweather has the experience and has the defense. He has a very, very good defense,” said the native of Mexico City, who sports a 56-7-1 record, including 40 KOs.
“When I fought Mayweather, he’s very difficult (to fight against). I want to land a punch with speed, but I can’t. Never. Pacquiao maybe, but I don’t know,” he added.
Marquez, who last fought a year ago when he beat Mike Alvarado, admitted he’s personally rooting for a Pacquiao win, which he believes will raise the clamor for a fifth fight between them.
But his mind is telling him Mayweather is the better fighter between the two.
“I want Manny Pacquiao to win this fight. My heart is for Pacquiao, but I think Mayweather will win because of his style,” he said.
"I think its going 12 rounds, decision (for Mayweather)."