Pacquiao wants toe-to-toe duel




10:40 PM December 6th, 2012

By: Roy Luarca, December 6th, 2012 10:40 PM

BEER promo girls flank Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez during Wednesday’s final news conference for the fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Roy Luarca

LAS VEGAS—“Come out and fight.”

Manny Pacquiao issued this challenge to Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth meeting this Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila) during a final press conference Wednesday.

“If you’re claiming that you’re the real winner (in the last three Pacquiao-Marquez fights), then you have to be aggressive, fight toe-to-toe and stop backing off.”

Pacquiao said Pacquiao-Marquez IV may just turn out to be a replay of the second and third fights—with Pacquiao attacking and Marquez counterpunching—if the Mexican refuses to mix it up.

But if Marquez refuses to engage, Pacquiao said he’s prepared to force the action.

“I’ll pressure him and force him to fight,” said Pacquiao. “I want to give him a chance. Maybe he can prove something. If he doesn’t, that would contradict what he’s saying.”

Pacquiao said he’s confident that he’ll have an answer to whatever Marquez will bring to the ring.

“I’ve watched our past fights and I saw some strategies that I can use,” he said. “Some different techniques, style and movement.

“If he wants to fight, yes. Even if we fight every month, no problem.”

Knowing that he needs a knockout or a decisive win to regain his lofty status as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, Pacquiao reiterated that he will go for the knockout if the opportunity arises.

The world’s only eight-division champion said he will avoid a repeat of his shock loss to Timothy Bradley last June. Boxing pundits and an independent panel of judges later reviewed the fight and ruled that Pacquiao had won.

Unlike Marquez, however, Pacquiao has accepted the judges’ decision, although he still believes that his unlikely defeat gave boxing a blackeye.

Pacquiao said that this time, he wants to clear any doubts as to who between him and Marquez is the better fighter.

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