HOLLYWOOD—Take it from former world champion Gerry Peñalosa. There’s one sure-fire way to beat a savvy counter-puncher like Juan Manuel Marquez: Overwhelm him with sheer volume of punches.
“If you throw a 1-2 combination, he can see it and defend. But when you unload a three- to four-punch combo he can no longer react in time,” Peñalosa told sportswriters in Filipino at Vagabond Inn here, just a stone’s throw away from Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym.
Peñalosa should know. Roach describes the former two-division world champion as the best Filipino technical boxer ever. Peñalosa also excels in defense and counter-punching.
Having seen Pacquiao in training here, the 40-year-old Peñalosa said his friend seems to be more focused than in his last two fights— against Marquez and unbeaten American Timothy Bradley.
“Unlike before, when Manny had difficulty waking up to do his early-morning run, he now rises on time. Maybe he sees Marquez’s face and that motivates him,” said Peñalosa.
The former WBC super flyweight and WBO bantamweight champion who retired in 2010 with a 55-win (37 KOs), 8-loss, 2-draw record is now a fight promoter.
He doubts whether Marquez could transform himself from a defender into an attacker on Dec. 8 for his fourth clash with Pacquiao.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” said Peñalosa.
According to Peñalosa, Pacquiao should avoid a replay of Pacquiao-Marquez 3 because the “judges could be swayed into rewarding the Mexican with the victory.”
On fight night, Peñalosa will also be watching his protégé, Michael Fareñas, and unbeaten nephew, Dodie Boy Jr., namesake of the former IBF light fly and flyweight champion, clash with separate opponents in the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez 4.
Fareñas will be in for a tough fight against Athens Olympics gold medalist and former WBC and IBF featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Dodie Boy Jr., who boasts an impressive record of nine wins, all by KOs, has a lighter assignment in Jesus Lule (6-4, with 1 KO).