HOLLYWOOD—When Juan Manuel Marquez was shown on episodes of HBO’s 24/7, many Manny Pacquiao fans were alarmed. The Mexican’s muscles were bulging and he looked strong and menacing.
The way Marquez heaved the medicine balls, ripped off the speed ball, and jumped on a platform proved that he’s in peak shape at 39 years old and seemed ready to do battle with Pacquiao once again.
Even the oddsmakers in Las Vegas were impressed by the footages, which was complemented by a video showing Marquez knocking down a sparmate. From a high of -300 for Pacquiao, the odds fell to -250. From +300, the odds went down to +250 for Marquez.
The lower figures mean a $250 bet on Pacquiao would net just $100, while a $100 wager on Marquez would earn $250.
Also surprised by the sudden transformation of Marquez’s body was Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Freddie Roach who, for a while, hinted of the possibility that the four-division world champion was taking performance enhancing drugs.
Though Roach later clarified that he “was just joking” when he made the remark, Marquez deplored the insinuation. Marquez said his well-chiseled physique was a product of four months of rigorous preparation and training under the supervision of Hall of Fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain and strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, who was once accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to his wards that included superstar trackster Marion Jones.
Marquez, who flew to Los Angeles via a private plane from Toluca, Mexico, Saturday (Sunday in Manila), also revealed on part 3 of the HBO series drumming up Pacquiao-Marquez 4, that the results (draw and split decision) of the first two fights made him angry, but the third, which again went to Pacquiao by majority decision, filled him with rage.
According to Marquez, it would be difficult to floor Pacquiao. He, however, is confident of finally turning the tables on the Filipino.