Nobody better understands the problem Manny Pacquiao will face on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden when he meets Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time than "Jesse" James Leija.
Leija, the former super featherweight champion, faced Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson four times over a nearly five-year period, winning a unanimous decision in their last bout in 1998 to win the series 2-1-1.
As Leija went through his preparations for that fight, he was flummoxed at times. Leija understood he needed to change tactics, because after having been in the ring with the man known in boxing circles as "The Professor," for 30 rounds at that point, Nelson knew Leija extensively.
Leija, too, knew pretty much what Nelson was going to do by the way Nelson positioned his hands, by the steps Nelson would take in the ring, by the feints he would use. It became, in essence, a stalemate.