Manny Pacquiao flexes his muscles before photographers, meets actor John Cho of the Harold and Kumar comedy series, and talks to reporters about whether he'll knock out Juan Manuel Marquez, the difference between this fight and the second one, his weight when he climbs the ring, Marquez’s growing size and his motivation for the fight. Video by Inquirer’s Francis T.J. Ochoa
HOLLYWOOD—It was with a hearty laugh that Manny Pacquiao unveiled the reason for all the extra hard work he’s been putting into his preparation for his upcoming fight.
“It’s an insult to my manhood,” the worldwide ring icon said in Filipino.
Juan Manuel Marquez better take him seriously, though.
The reigning pound-for-pound king said he’s going to respond to Marquez’ insinuations with a solid performance on the ring, adding that he doesn’t care how big his Mexican rival will be when they square off on November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I’m ready for this fight. I’m motivated,” Pacquiao told Filipino journalists after an abbreviated workout Friday at the Wild Card Gym. Trainers Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez and conditioning coach Alex Ariza limited Pacquiao’s workout for the day despite the boxer’s request to push hard.
“Even if the fight is nearing, I still want to push hard [during training],” Pacquiao said.
Roach has marveled at how much work Pacquiao has put into this camp and the Filipino sensation said he was goaded by Marquez’ constant proclamations that he won the two fights between the two warriors.
“I won’t say much, I’ll speak through my actions on the ring,” said Pacquiao.
Marquez has unveiled a huge physique that triggered talk of performance enhancers, but the sport’s only eight-division champion said size hardly matters to him anymore.
“He bulked up,” Pacquiao said. “But we’re already used to bigger opponents.”
He rattled examples one by one: “Margarito, Mosley, . I’ve already proven myself against bigger guys.”
Pacquiao was referring to Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley and . All three were naturally bigger guys and all three succumbed to his uncanny mix of hand speed and punching power.
Pacquiao plans to climb the ring at 148 pounds, just one pound over the welterweight limit and four over the catch weight of the bout where the Pacman will stake the WBO welter crown he won from Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in 2009.
“There’s no need to worry about [Marquez’] size,” Pacquiao said. “It would have even been tougher if he were smaller because he would be very quick. But since he’s coming in big, I’m sure I’ll be faster.”
Pacquiao and Marquez fought to two arguable decisions. Pacquiao knocked Marquez down thrice during their first meeting in 2004, but the Mexican rallied to forge a split draw. The Pacman again felled Marquez in their second encounter in the third round in 2008 and earned a to win the super featherweight title.
The Mexican has kept saying he was robbed of victories both times.
But Pacquiao has a legitimate beef in their first meeting, when his three knockdowns should have earned him 10-6 scores from all three judges. Instead, one of them logged a 10-7 and that proved crucial in the end.
Now that their paths have crossed a third time, those bouts will be put in the backburner and focus will be on this one, which has been tagged as the definitive bout of their rivalry. And Roach believes this will end emphatically in favor of Pacquiao and that Marquez won’t survive to hear the final bell.
But Pacquiao did not bite into calls for a prediction.
“It’s hard to tell,” said the Filipino. “All I can say is I’m ready for this fight.”
He added that the coming fight will be a whole lot easier for him than their second match, when he struggled to make weight.
“This time, I’ll even be eating to add weight,” he said.
Marquez is due to arrive Saturday in Los Angeles, where he will conduct an open workout for the media at the Sta. Anita Race Park.