I was looking forward to my rematch with Juan Manuel Márquez. Our first fight had been exciting and even though it took a few years for Márquez to finally accept a rematch with me the fans seemed happy to see it, too. The arena was electric. It inspired me.
After I scored the knockdown, early in the fight, I went back to my corner thinking I would finish him in the next round. Freddie Roach told me, ‘We have him right where we want him. Finish it.”
Well, I couldn’t finish him in the next round and as the fight continued I thought ‘Here we go again.’ Márquez’s superb boxing skills and excellent stamina got him back into the fight.
After the eighth round Freddie told me the fight was becoming too close and we needed to win the last four rounds to avoid the close decision we had in our first fight.
“Take it to him Manny. Pick up the pace — double the pace. You’ve got the better speed and power. It’s time to use all your weapons.”
I stopped counterpunching in those last four and attacked him constantly. Staying away from his right hand helped me to score more, too.
Freddie’s advice was right and I thought it was a clear victory for me that night because I won those last four rounds.
I was so happy to be a world champion again. It’s a night I’ll never forget.
Juan Manuel Márquez
In my opinion the second fight was the closest of our trilogy. It was a very hard-fought fight and much more exciting than the first one.
This time Pacquiao surprised me a bit as he was not as aggressive as he had been in the first fight. He seemed to have become a more complete and certainly a much better all-around fighter. He was no longer a one-handed fighter like he was the first time we fought. The left-hand-happy Pacquiao had become a two-fisted fighter, using his right effectively.
I was able to control the first half of the fight by dictating the pace and I was able to build a lead. I felt that I was hurting him, which made me more confident. So I became a little more aggressive and it cost me as I caught with a left hand and went down in the third round. I was angry at myself, but I was not hurt.
The last six rounds were very competitive and I felt he was trying very hard and I was able to counter him very effectively. I was landing a lot of right hands and knew I had the fight won.
But once again the judges took my victory away by giving Pacquiao the nod by split decision. I still get very angry when I think about hearing those scores being read.
After two fights, I felt I had won at least 19 of the 24 rounds. Pacquiao’s four knockdowns made the scores closer than they really were. Look, after 24 rounds, I have two scores in my favor and one even and Pacquiao’s got three his way but one of them was by only one point.
Just like the first fight, I knew I beat him. And just like the first fight, the judges did not see it my way. There is not much I can do about that. I did my best. Too bad the judges did not do the same.
Episode #2 of the all-access reality series “24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez 4” premieres Saturday, Nov. 24 at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 takes place Saturday, December 8 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.