Marquez lighter on fight night, braces for total warBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
HOLLYWOOD—He may have bulked up, but Juan Manuel Marquez will still come in light for the fight.
Marquez said Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) he will check in not heavier than 142 or 143 pounds so as not to lose speed while keeping his power.
Team Marquez felt the Mexican needs to match Pacquiao’s slick moves and explosive shots to emerge the winner in their fourth showdown at MGM Grand Arena on Saturday.
In a four-month span, legendary trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain and strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez worked on Marquez’s speed and movement, and strategized on how to elude Pacquiao’s power punches.
Frustrated the first three times they met, Marquez said he is ready for total war and his prime motivation is to see his hands raised in the ring. He said he wants to show his fellow Mexicans and the fans that he really won their past fights.
Marquez’s incessant whining has piqued Pacquiao and the Mexican said he now feels animosity between them.
“After what happened in the first three fights, I don’t know if we can have a personal relationship,” said Marquez in Spanish. “But we are professionals, we do our jobs. I feel he does have some respect for me in the ring.”
Again taking potshots at boxing judges, Marquez said he is hopeful that, this time, they will score it correctly.
Marquez said he is thinking of nothing but Saturday’s fight with Pacquiao, who beat him by split decision in their 2008 rematch, then scraped through with a majority decision in last year’s third fight.
No matter what happens, Marquez said he is not keen on retiring at age 39.
“I don’t think this fourth fight will define my career,” he said. “I’ve done great things for boxing. I’ve always kept myself in shape. I enjoy being in the ring, that’s why I’m ready for all the fights.”
Though grateful for what Beristain has taught him through the years, Marquez said his influence vanishes once the fight starts because, by then, “You don’t know what you’re going to face (in the ring).”