Despite the fact that 4-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez has looked much more muscular leading up to Saturday night's showdown, he's still 4 pounds lighter than 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who tipped the scales at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds during Friday's weigh-in. Marquez, on the other hand, came in well under the limit at 143 pounds. Both fighters have stressed that speed will be a key factor in determining the winner of their fourth encounter. While many assume that the extra muscle that Marquez has put on could hamper his hand speed, his low weight suggests that his Strength & Conditioning coach, Angel Hernandez, took precaution in ensuring that would not be the case.
On the other side of the coin, it's a little surprising, in my opinion, to see Pacquiao come in right at 147 pounds. For their last encounter, Pacquiao only weighed 143 pounds, albeit the fight was at a catchweight. Still, if speed is an important factor, one would think that Pacquiao may prefer to come in a little bit lighter than he was for his last fight, when he also weighed 147 pounds against Timothy Bradley. At the time, that was a career-high weight for Pacquiao, who previously had to consume 7000 calories a day just to fight at welterweight. Now, he matches that weight again. You can't help but wonder if perhaps Pacquiao did not take the advice of his own Strength & Conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, quite as much as Marquez did from his. Come Saturday night, we'll find out.
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