MANILA—Jogging and stretching were Juan Manuel Marquez’s antidote to jet lag.Hardly unaffected by the long, tiring trip from Los Angeles, the Mexican warrior gamely did interviews upon arrival at the Centennial Airport early Thursday morning before proceeding to the Manila Hotel to change clothes and hit the Luneta grounds with his training team in tow.
It was Marquez’s way to let pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao know that he’ll be in tiptop shape when they tangle for the Filipino icon’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marquez, who turned 38 last week, also wants to use every second available to train for his third fight with Pacquiao.
Their first fight in 2004 ended in a controversial draw while their return bout in 2008 ended in a split decision win for Pacquiao.
Though Marquez insists that he won both fights, the WBC lightweight titlist knows that Pacquiao is far better and stronger now, and sows terror in the 147-pound division.
That’s why, the three-division champion feels he needs to train for 12 weeks months to gain speed and strength while packing in more pounds.
In addition, Marquez has enlisted the services of a nutritionist and conditioning expert.
His fighting style, according to Marquez, will still be the same.
“I fought Pacquiao twice, I know him.”
Marquez said he’ll still be counterpunching and firing off combinations to negate Pacquiao’s perceived edge in speed and power.
After a brief rest, Marquez and his team that includes legendary trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain went to the Manila City Hall where Mayor Alfredo Lim honored Marquez as the city’s adopted son.
Venerable promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, prime mover of the three-nation, four-city press tour for Pacquiao-Marquez III that kicks off tomorrow at the Quirino Grandstand, accompanied Marquez.
While ring pundits and oddsmakers have installed Pacquiao a heavy 8-1 favorite to beat Marquez in their 12-round bout set at a catch weight of 144 pounds, Arum thinks otherwise.
“Juan Manuel Marquez has given Manny challenges on two occasions,” said Arum, who is enshrined in the boxing Hall of Fame. “ The fights were very, very close that’s why this fight is so important.”
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