Trainer Freddie Roach has called the skills of four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez “style-wise, the hardest style in the world” for Manny Pacquiao, whom he will meet for the fourth time on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) has chosen to face Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) over a rematch with Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), whose controversial split-decision in June dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s 147-pound titleholder.
In November, Pacquiao won an unpopular and highly-disputed majority decision over Marquez, who has also battled Pacquiao through a draw and a split-decision loss previously. Bradley ended a 15-bout winning streak for Pacquaio that included eight knockouts.
“We have Marquez three times using all kinds of strategy. It’s time to throw logic out the window and start over,” said Roach, re-iterating his point during a Wednesday press conference at the Edison Ballroom in New York’s Time Square, where he, Pacquiao and Marquez took part in the second stop of a three-city jaunt that began in Los Angeles on Monday and will end on Friday in Marquez’s hometown of Mexico City.
“Marquez is the smartest fighter of his era. Manny has shown him too much respect in the past two fights. This time Manny will go after him like the first fight. Manny told me he knows he needs a knockout. He’s never said that before. My job is to reignite the killer instinct Manny has lacked in the last fights with Marquez.”
Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in their first fight, which ended in a draw as featherweights in May of 2004. Marquez was dropped once during their second meeting, a split-decision triumph for Pacquiao as junior lightweights in March of 2008.
Marquez believes himself to be the winner of all three fights, particularly the last one, during which he never hit the canvas.
“I need to prove nothing except to have the referee raise my hand in victory,” said Marquez. “We know each other well. It will be a great fight in December. I can’t wait to win again.”
Photo by Ed Diller, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org