Pacquiao aims to close book on Marquez
Trainer Freddie Roach says he won’t be happy until Juan Manuel Marquez is on the canvas, knocked out, and his star pupil Manny Pacquiao is declared the winner.
That’s a taller task than the oddsmakers make it seem though for their Saturday night fight (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET), as Marquez has never been knocked out and has given Pacquiao two of the toughest fights of his career, a draw and a split decision win for Pac-Man.
Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) as always, prefers to do his talking in the ring, saying he does not go for knockouts and would not predict one. It isn’t just because he recently became a congressman in the Philippines. Pacquiao has always been short on spoken bravado, but Roach says to not let that fool you. This fight is one Pacquiao wants badly, largely because Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) and his supporters believe their man won the first two meetings.
"Manny likes everyone in the world, but because of what Marquez said when they were in the Philippines . . ." Roach explained. "Well, I feel that really got to Manny. It gave him an extra spark in training camp. It was a great training camp and I have never seen Manny as motivated to train."
Pacquiao, 32, holds an age advantage over the 38-year-old Marquez. He also believes that in the years since their last bout, he has added other weapons to his arsenal that give him more of an advantage. That said, Manny’s brawling, come-forward style is perfectly suited for Marquez’s counter punches.
"I will never underestimate Marquez," Pacquiao said. "I trained hard for this fight and feel strong. This is a lot different because over the past few years I have improved a lot. I think I am a lot better now mostly because of my right hand. There is also a big difference in my power and moving up in weight from our last fights is going to be a difference. I move better now, too."
These two fighters have always seemed to bring on the best in one another. In their previous two fights, Marquez was knocked down four times, but always came back to push Pacquiao to the brink. After Pacquiao’s last fight, a one-sided unanimous decision win against Shane Mosley that many found to be low on action, Saturday night promises to be an all-out battle.
"I believe this fight will be more exciting because there will be a lot more boxing in the ring because of Marquez’ style,” Pacquiao said. “In the first two fights, there was a lot of boxing in the ring and this time there will be more."