Marquez lets thirst for validation motivate him vs Pacquiao
HOLLYWOOD—Manny Pacquiao has made the third chapter of his feud history with Juan Manuel Marquez personal. His trainer, Freddie Roach, has done the same thing.
“I think payback is going to be a bitch,” said Roach.
The noted trainer was referring to Team Marquez showing up for a promotional event in the Philippines wearing shirts with the words “We Were Robbed” emblazoned on them.
All those verbal volleys, however, have failed to shake the knees of Team Marquez, which is growing confident by the day that the Nov. 12 showdown between two fierce rivals in Las Vegas will produce one of the most stunning upsets in boxing.
“We are not the only ones who felt that we won the other two fights,” Marquez said during a media conference call Wednesday. “We are prepared to win this one as well.”
The two punch-heavy combatants collide in a trilogy-capping match that is far from your garden-variety decider. Pacquiao knocked down Marquez thrice during their first meeting and wound up with a controversial split draw.
Their second fight was even more argument inducing. Leaning on a third round knockdown of his counter-punching foe, Pacquiao narrowly hammered out a split decision that Marquez felt should have gone his way.
In a sense, a Marquez victory will hardly settle the score between the two rivals. Both will still own a victory each while sharing a draw. Team Marquez, however, feels that this third match will validate who is the better fighter.
Pacquiao will defend the WBO welterweight crown he snatched from Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto two years ago and Marquez feels that winning the crown will put him one up on the current pound-for-pound king.
“Now it’s time to shed doubt as to who the best fighter is,” Marquez said.
While Pacquiao has kept saying the fight is personal—a change of tone from a fighter who has made it a point to stay away from word games—Marquez also upped the ante from his corner, saying he will treat the fight the same way because he felt he deserved favorable decisions in their first two meetings.
“I’m upset I didn’t get the decisions,” said Marquez. “This fight is going to be good because we both want to win it badly. The clear winner this time will be the fans.”
If anything about the fight can be guaranteed, it’s that fans won’t want for action. Marquez said Pacquiao brings something to the table that not even Floyd Mayweather Jr., the Filipino’s pound-for-pound rival, can bring.
“Floyd does not let you fight,” Marquez said. “We know Manny will fight.”
The Mexican will go into the match a heavy underdog, but Marquez doesn’t care about the odds.
“Odds don’t do anything for me, they don’t have anything to do with the fight,” he said. “If the opportunity comes, if I hurt him, I’ll go for the knockout.”
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