HOLLYWOOD—This should serve as a stern warning to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Manny Pacquiao has set Dec. 8 as the date when he’d hand the Mexican icon a final, decisive beating to end what was perceived by many to be a seething ring rivalry.
“May (He has an) expiration date,” Pacquiao told Manila-based sportswriters after Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) sparring and workout at the Wild Card Gym here.
With Marquez insisting on his claim that he won their first three bouts, Pacquiao no longer hides his desire to knock his opponent out come fight night at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao came close to it when he fell Marquez thrice right in the first round of their first duel in 2004 only to settle for a controversial draw following a judge’s lapse in scoring.
He was able to floor Marquez again in the third round with a left hook in their rematch in 2008 to scrape out a split decision, but failed to knock down the four-division world champion in their third showdown which he won by majority decision last year.
The highly disputed result has emboldened the 39-year-old Marquez, who promised to give Pacquiao a beating in their PPV (pay-per-view) welterweight fight staking no title, but is being embellished by a Diamond Belt being dangled by the WBO through its president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel.
Pacquiao, who’ll turn 34 on Dec. 17, however, is determined to silence Marquez’s loud mouth.
“I’m 100 percent (ready),” said Pacquiao, who even did his morning run at Griffith Park. “Maintain na lang.”
Though already famished, Pacquiao spent time with ardent fan Josh Borja, a 14-year-old wheelchair-bound Filipino stricken by cerebral palsy from Glendale, California.
Marquez has also declared himself in tiptop shape in his bid to prove that he’s got Pacquiao’s number and that the judges erred in handing the eight-division world champion the draw and the two wins in their previous fights.
For Pacquiao, however, Marquez’s flaunting time is about to expire on Dec. 8 as stamped.