Heavier Pacquiao, better–Roach
LAS VEGAS—Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez step on the scales Friday afternoon (Saturday in Manila) for the third showdown between two fighters who have battled in two compelling and oft-debated bouts in the past.
The contracted weight for the fight, where Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight crown, is 144 pounds, three below the division ceiling.
But don’t be surprised if both fighters don’t even hit the catch weight.
Trainer Freddie Roach said that Pacquiao has been hovering at 142 lb during training while Nacho Beristain has said he would prefer Marquez coming in at that same weight. Pacquiao said he has easily been making 142, even as he admitted he has been eating freely during training camp.
Marquez will find it even easier to hit the mark, needing to climb into the welterweight ranks after dominating the lightweight division.
“I would like him a little heavier, ” Roach said of Pacquiao. “He’s at 142 after workouts.”
Beristain doesn’t expect that to happen and he wants his ward to be close to Pacquiao’s weight. In fact, Marquez’s training has been programmed so that the Mexican fighter, bulking up past the 140-lb level for just the second time in his career, stays around 142 for the weigh-in.
“We believe Manny won’t come higher than that,” said Beristain. “We don’t want to lose our speed and strength.”
Marquez was clearly sluggish and slower when he first made a foray into the welterweight ranks, where he lost every round in getting schooled by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao, who struggled to get into weight during his second bout against Marquez—fought in the super featherweight limit of 130 lb, will have a new challenge in this third bout and it is a welcome one: He will make sure he doesn’t fall too much below the catch weight.
“I’ll weigh myself in the morning and if I’m too much under the limit, I’ll adjust by eating more,” Pacquiao said.
The congressman from Sarangani said he plans to enter the ring at 148 lb., the weight he is most comfortable at during bouts. Pacquiao has stayed within that weight even when he fought—and clobbered—Antonio Margarito in a super welterweight championship.
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