Marquez: I don’t know why Manny Pacquiao’s mad at meBy Francis T.J. Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Juan Manuel Marquez, who is challenging Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title on November 12 in Las Vegas, talks about moving up in weight, Freddie Roach's prediction of a knockout, and what to expect in the first round of their anticipated showdown. VIDEO BY INQUIRER’S FRANCIS T.J. OCHOA
HOLLYWOOD—Somewhere in the core of his being, Juan Manuel Marquez honestly believes that he owns two convincing victories over Manny Pacquiao.
In fact, if there’s one thing the noted counter-puncher can’t seem to understand, it’s the fact that his claims have gotten Pacquiao’s goat to the point that the Filipino ring icon is so driven as he prepares for the third match of their boiling rivalry on November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I don’t know [why] Pacquiao is very mad for [what] I said,” said Marquez during a media presentation Saturday at the Sta. Anita Race Park in Arcadia, California. “I think the last two fights, the people know who won.
“I think I won the last two fights [and] the people think the same.”
Eighteen miles away—about an hour’s drive from the famous racetrack—Pacquiao was holed up at the Wild Card gym, punishing another sparring partner until the latter’s knees buckled.
And with every opportunity that Marquez uses to broadcast his belief, Pacquiao drives himself harder and harder in training that even long-time habitués of Freddie Roach’s sweatshop cannot help but marvel at the pound-for-pound king’s relentlessness in training.
Pacquiao sparred for six rounds, worked the mitts with Roach, and tirelessly pounded the double end before capping Saturday’s workout with a lengthy skip-rope session.
Roach believes Pacquiao’s added grit will translate into a knockout victory.
“Freddie said… whatever,” Marquez said. “But I train very hard and I want to give all the people another great show. I trained very hard and people (can say) anything (they want).”
Part of Marquez training was to bulk up to the 144-pound catch weight for the WBO world welterweight championship and based on appearances on HBO’s 24/7 series, the Mexican looks huge.
Pacquiao said he isn’t intimidated by Marquez’s size, because his rival will sacrifice a lot of speed in trying to climb to the welterweight ranks. But Marquez said that isn’t the case.
“I’m very comfortable (with my weight),” he told Filipino journalists at the media presentation. “I’m training hard for this fight [to improve] my weight, my strength and my speed. I’m very happy.”
Marquez is certain that Pacquiao will come straight at him from the opening bell, thus making the first round of the fight very crucial. And it should be. During their first meeting, which ended in a controversial draw, Pacquiao slammed Marquez to the canvas hard thrice in the first round.
“It’s (going to be) a tough round for me because Pacquiao will be looking for the knockout,” said Marquez, who was actually scheduled for a public workout but begged off because it was too chilly in the open-air venue. “But I trained very hard and I’m ready for the fight.”