(STAR) By Abac Cordero – Bob Arum sees a good fight – with Manny Pacquiao knocking out Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Marquez is going to put up the greatest fight of his career. But I don’t think he can match up with Manny,” said Arum who watched Manny Pacquiao train at the Wild Card Gym Wednesday.

The ageless promoter said there’s no way Marquez, at 34, could beat Pacquiao, in his prime at 29.

“Not when Manny is in this kind of shape,” said Arum.

Then the Top Rank promoter issued his fearless forecast.

“I’m looking at Manny to win by knockout maybe in the eighth or ninth round,” said Arum, the first within the Pacquiao camp to issue such a prediction.

Arum said Marquez, one of the best counter-punchers in the business, will do his thing against Pacquiao, probably the most aggressive, the hardest puncher in the world today.

“I’m looking at Marquez to fight as the counter-puncher that he is, and Manny to look for the opening, and surprise Marquez with his newfound boxing ability,” he said.

“Manny will look for the opening and exploit that opening with either hand. When he fought Marquez the first time he was a one-handed boxer. He fought with his left only. Now he fights with both hands,” he said.

“Have you ever seen him in this kind of shape? Never. This is the shape he’s got to be in every fight that he has. When he’s in this kind of shape, nobody can beat him. That’s my conclusion,” said Arum.

Sensing victory for his prized possession in Las Vegas on March 15, Arum is actually looking forward to bigger fights for the brown bomber from Gen. Santos City. He said it’s even possible for Pacquiao to do three more fights after this one.

Pacquiao, should he beat Marquez, is lined up for another title shot, one against WBC lightweight champion David Diaz.

But not according to plan.

Arum said instead of Macau, on June 21, the fight could be moved to Vegas, at the MGM Grand.

“The response to this fight is so enormous that they (MGM) had asked me if I could accommodate them by having the next Pacquiao fight in Vegas and then go to Macau in October. It’s the same opponent (David Diaz),” said the Top Rank president.

“If he beats Diaz, Manny has to decide which fighter he wants to face. He might go back to 130 and fight (Joan) Guzman or (Edwin) Valero,” he said without mentioning the names of Ricky Hatton or Oscar dela Hoya, the other possible opponents.

Arum sees Pacquiao beating Marquez.

Then it’s whoever, whenever, wherever.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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