Strength coach Angel Hernandez vowed that Marquez would be “bigger, stronger and faster,” and Marquez himself said that he will “try to knock out” eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao when they meet for a fourth time at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.
But Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) offered a retort on Wednesday at the Edison Ballroom in New York’s Time Square, where he and Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) participated in the second stop of a three-city promotional press tour that began in Los Angeles on Monday and will end on Friday in Marquez’s hometown of Mexico City.
Pacquiao has chosen to face Marquez over a return bout with Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), whose controversial split decision in June dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s 147-pound titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Marquez lost by disputed majority decision in November to Pacquiao, with whom he has also battled to a draw and lost by split-decision previously.
“I picked Juan Manuel Marquez because it would be an exciting fight. If I chose Bradley it would be another one-sided fight. I don’t think the fans wanted to see me fight Bradly again,” said Pacquiao.
“In the last fight I took Marquez too lightly because I was the bigger man physically. My focus this time is to go for the knockout. I am a good counter puncher too, but that makes for a boring fight.”
Marquez, who turned 39 in August, was so angry following the last bout with Pacquiao that he nearly retired. Instead, however, he rebounded with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s junior welterweight belt.
But Pacquiao claims to be just as eager as Marquez to come away with a clear and definitive result.
“I want to erase the last fight and any doubts in number four. I will focus this time. I have to study and train using new techniques and strategy and apply techniques never used in my previous fights. I will fight and train like the old Manny; the 25-year-old Manny,” said Pacquiao.
“I want to make the fight exciting. My concern is to make people happy that they watched or fight. I don’t want the fans to be bored. I need to be more aggressive in this fight. I want this fight to be different from the last one. I want a win that isn’t close like the last three. It has to be a decisive victory.”
Photo by Ed Diller, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org