These fighters have previously met twice in two hotly contested bouts (Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Boxing).
Both Fighters Hope to End Trilogy in Decisive Manner
Uncertainty still surrounds the first two chapters of the book on Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) against Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), and the two fighters look to conclude the story next Saturday when they meet for Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight Championship in Las Vegas. Pacquiao holds a 1-0-1 advantage in the series thanks to a 2008 split decision victory in their last meeting, although each competitor has a worthy argument that he won both of the contests.
“Manny Pacquiao is on fire right now, and he is training really well for this fight,” his trainer Freddie Roach stated. “He’s got a little spark. He was slapped in the face a little bit by Márquez in the Philippines, twice talking about the first two fights he thought he won, and I think Manny is going to pay him back. And payback’s a bitch.”
Marquez was noticeably stunned by the speed and power of Pacquiao early in their first encounter, where the current Congressman of the Philippines dropped his Mexican counterpart three times in the opening round of that 2004 bout. However, Marquez survived that frame and got off the floor to battle all the way back to a split decision draw. In their second outing, the deciding factor was a third round knockdown by Pacquiao of Marquez, and he edged out a win via a tight split decision. The eight-division world champion received tallies of 115-112 and 114-113, while Marquez took a count of 115-112 in his favor. Needless to say, questions surround the outcome of both fights, and Pacquiao feels that they will all be answered next Saturday when they put the finishing touches on this seven-year trilogy.
“Mainly because he was saying that he was robbed in the first two fights,” Pacquiao said of why he is irritated by Marquez. “This third fight will answer all of the doubts and all the questions.”
As to how deciding the result will be, Pacquiao says that stopping Marquez for the first time in his career is something that would certainly close the book in convincing fashion.
“I am not going to say I am going to knock Marquez out, but I will say that I trained really hard for this fight,” the Filipino fighter commented. “And we did a lot of things and made a lot of sacrifices, so if the knockout comes, it will come. I just want to make sure I am in the best condition come November 12.”
On the opposite side of the ring that night will be game opposition in Marquez, and trainer Nacho Beristain feels his guy will be the one who puts the finishing touches on this series.
“Without question, we have prepared ourselves to win this fight again,” he stated. “They can say what they want. They are great trainers, and he is a great fighter. If they feel they won the first two fights, so be it. We feel the same way, and that’s the way you should go into a fight.”
Marquez, winner of his past three bouts, knows that uncertainty swirls around the results of his first pair of fights with Pacquiao, and he feels that this concluding chapter is very much necessary.
“That’s why we are doing this third fight. The first two were very close, and this fight should end all doubt,” he confirmed. “We are not the only ones saying we won the fights. There are a lot of fans and media out there saying the same thing, that we won those two fights.”
A 9:1 underdog, Marquez says that anyone who doubts him will be made to look foolish come next Saturday.
“It doesn’t do anything for me,” he said of the odds. “People can make bets, and if they like the odds, that is fine with me. It has nothing to do with my fight. I have to go into the fight with the mentality that I have to win each round. And if the opportunity comes, I go for the knockout. I am not going to hesitate if the opportunity is there.”
Promoted by Top Rank Boxing in association with MP Promotions, Márquez Boxing, Tecate and MGM Grand, Pacquiao vs. Marquez III will be available via HBO PPV, and the live broadcast will get underway at 9:00 p.m. EST.