Filipino champs impressed with Pacquiao’s form
HOLLYWOOD—A current and former world champion both agreed that Juan Manuel Marquez may have gotten more than what he bargained for when he chases—and eventually earned—a third fight with Filipino ring sensation Manny Pacquiao.
“It’s going to be a good fight,” said Brian Viloria, the Filipino-American WBC flyweight champion.
“But it’s no match.”
Viloria, known as the “Hawaiian Punch,” who is training at the Wild Card Gym for his December 10 defense against Mexican Giovanni Segura in Manila.
“Manny is just too polished for [Marquez],” said Viloria after catching a glimpse of the Pacman in training.
Former super flyweight and bantamweight champion of the world Gerry Peñalosa also said Pacquiao will be a heavy favorite when he defends his WBO welterweight crown against Marquez on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand.
“Manny is really motivated,” said Peñalosa in Filipino. “He’s angry. He arrives early in training.”
Peñalosa is a member of Pacquiao’s close circle and has watched the reigning pound-for-pound king prepare for several fights already, but like trainer Freddie Roach, he is impressed by the work Pacquiao has put it thus far.
“This is the best that he’s performed during sparring sessions,” Peñalosa said. “He’s even better now than when he was preparing for Oscar De La Hoya.”
Peñalosa was in the audience that watched Pacquiao nearly knock out a sparring partner Saturday and said he sees the Filipino knocking out Marquez in the third or fourth rounds.
Peñalosa isn’t even worried that Pacquiao will be overeager once he steps into the ring in an attempt to silence a fierce rival who continues to declare that he won their two previous close fights. Marquez rallied from three knockdowns to forge a draw during their first bout but lost a close split decision in the second bout, where he got knocked down in the third round.
“He’s experienced,” Peñalosa said. “Overeagerness is usually a problem of young fighters.”
Roach earlier urged Pacquiao to go for the kill once he hurts Marquez, but both trainer and ward agreed they will not rush a knockout to avoid walking into a surprise and lucky counter.
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