Manny Pacquiao on Juan Manuel Marquez: "This is a different fight for him. This is the most important fight in his boxing career, so that's why I'm expecting him to be 100 percent at his best on that night."
Moments before stepping into the ring at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., to throw his first punch on American soil since May, Manny Pacquiao spoke to RingTV.com for this exclusive Q&A.
During the interview, the 32-year-old WBO welterweight beltholder was wrapping his hands in preparation to work with five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) and Roach landed in Los Angeles on Saturday night following three weeks of training in Baguio City, Philippines, as he gears up for an HBO Pay Per View-televised bout with 38-year-old RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacaquiao discussed his Philippines training regimen, which included a final sparring session with 26-year-old former two-division beltholder Jorge Linares (31-1, 20 KOs), who attempted to emulate Marquez's style.
According to Roach, Pacquiao's final day of training in Baguio included a 45-minute uphill run in the morning, eight rounds of sparring with Linares, 12 more rounds of work on the mitts, followed by speed bag, double-end bag and jumping rope -- plus a little basketball.
RingTV.com: How is everything?
Manny Pacquiao: Good, good.
RingTV.com: I hear that you were a monster in training on your last day in the Philippines. Are you energized for this fight?
MP: I feel great and excited and happy for this training camp.
RingTV.com: Is this fight any more important or motivating because Marquez is perceived as your toughest opponent?
MP: Yes. I feel that, you know, there's an extra motivation for this training camp I think because of what happened in our last fight. This fight, this will be the answer to all of the doubters about whether or not I lost to my opponent.
RingTV.com: Do you, in fact, acknowledge Marquez as your toughest opponent? And, if so, what makes him so difficult?
MP: I will acknowledge that he was my toughest opponent when I was fighting at 130 and 125 pounds. But in this weight division .... I still consider this to be one of the toughest opponents in this weight division, but not, like, the toughest.
RingTV.com: Do you think that you can knock him out?
MP: You know, I'm not thinking about that. What I'm thinking about right now is to just get into shape. I want to make sure that I'm 100 percent in the best condition that I need to be in for the day of the fight to give a good fight.
RingTV.com: If the fight could go exactly the way that you would want it, how would it go?
MP: [Laughs.] I don't have any idea, but I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a good fight, and there will be a lot of boxing in the ring. But it's hard to say right now, because the fight has not yet happened. But I will give him a lot of respect, and that's why I'm training so hard for this fight. I think that that's good to know for the people. I think that it will be a good show for the people. I have had a good training camp for this fight, and you know what that means.
RingTV.com: Why was Linares such a good sparring partner to prepare for Marquez? And what was he able to do emulating and duplicating what Marquez does in order to help you?
MP: Linares' style is really similar to Marquez's style. He's fast, and I really think that it was a good thing because Linares has a lot of the same style as Marquez. Linares is faster than Marquez and quicker than Marquez, so that's helped me a lot.
RingTV.com: Do you believe that Marquez may have lost anything due to his age and his past few fights -- the two tough ones against Juan Diaz, the physical ones against Joel Casamayor and Michael Katsidis, and the loss to Floyd Mayweather?
MP: I think that Marquez is still good. It's going to depend on how he prepares for this fight. I know that for this fight, that he will train hard. I think that he will do everything that he can do for this fight. Marquez will give everything that he can for this fight. This is a different fight for him. This is the most important fight in his boxing career, so that's why I'm expecting him to be 100 percent at his best on that night.
Photo by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org