During the promotions leading up to their last bout, however, Marquez and Pacquiao sang a duet on a variety show in Mexico.
Although their rivalry is intense, Pacquiao said it is “nothing personal.”
“We are just doing our job in the ring. In the ring, we have to do our best to make all of the people happy,” said Pacquiao, during a national conference call. “There is nothing personal between us. I never hate my opponent outside of the ring. We’re friends.”
PACQUIAO’S BACK ON JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE WEDNESDAY
Pacquiao will make his seventh appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday in advance of facing Marquez.
Pacquiao called Kimmel “a good luck” charm during his fifth berth on the show that aired nine days before his disputed majority decision victory over Marquez in November of last year.
But Pacquiao’s luck faded after the last time he shared the stage with Kimmel in May– 16 days before he was dethroned as WBO welterweight titleholder followinng a split-decision loss to unbeaten Tim Bradley in June.
Pacquiao debuted on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” just three days after Halloween in November of 2009 prior to dethroning Miguel Cotto as WBO beltholder by 12th-round knockout later that month.
Pacquiao was also on the show before his unanimous decision against welterweight Joshua Clottey in March of 2010, as well as before earning the WBC’s since-vacated junior middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito in November of 2010.
Pacquiao was on Kimmel’s show for the fourth time prior to the unanimous-decision defense of his crown in May of last year over Shane Mosley.
24/7 PACQUIAO-MARQUEZ 4 SECOND EPISODE AIRS SATURDAY
Pacquiao and Marquez will be on the second episode of HBO’s documentary series Pacquiao-Marquez 4 on Saturday at 12:15, immediately following the network’s airing of the welterweight clash featuring two-time titleholder Andre Berto (28-1, 22 knockouts) and WBC interim beltholder Robert Guerrero (30-1,1, 18 KOs) at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) chose the return bout with Marquez (54-6-2, 39 KOs) over a rematch with Tim Bradley following a controversial split decision in June which dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s 147-pound titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
In November, Pacquiao scarcely won a highly disputed majority decision over Marquez, with whom he has also battled to a draw and won a previous split decision. Pacquiao floored Marquez three times in the first round of their initial meeting as featherweights in May of 2004, and dropped him once in the third round of their second as junior lightweights in March of 2008.
Pacquiao turns 34 on Dec. 17, and Marquez, 39 in August. Marquez nearly retired following the last bout with Pacquiao, but rebounded with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s junior welterweight belt.
BOB ARUM SAYS PACQUIAO HAS ‘PERSPECTIVE’ AGAINST MARQUEZ
Aftter eschewing the habits of gambling and womanizing behaviors which distracted him in advance of his last fight with Marquez, and having undergone the faith-based lifestyle changes which occupied him during the leadup to his clash with Bradley, Pacquiao is more focused for Marquez, said his promoter, Bob Arum.
“In terms of the Marquez fight, he was having serious personal problems. That distracted him. For the Tim Bradley fight, he was engaged in this Bible study that was consuming him, and I think that once he found how relatively easy it was to beat Bradley, he sort of backed off and didn’t want to beat him up anymore,” said Arum.
“I think that now, he’s put everything back into perspective, and I really believe that he is going to be ready and that he is concentrating now on winning this fight decisively, and he is putting a lot more time and effort into strategy and into doing this and that. It’s like a good football team. A good football team prepares for their opponent and they strategize and so forth.”
Marquez’s trrainer, Nacho Beristain, said that that his fighter “will be better than ever.” Marquez’s strength coach Angel Hernandez vowed that Marquez would be “bigger, stronger and faster,” and Marquez, himself ,said that he will “try to knock out” Pacquiao.
But neither Roach, nor Pacquiao is concerned about Marquez’s conditioning.
“I don’t think that it’s a factor because I don’t think that muscle makes you have a better chin,” said Roach. “The thing is that he’s put a lot more muscle on and I think he’s slower than he used to be, and we’re going to take advantage of that.”
A congressman in his native Sarangani, Philippines, Pacquiao also has his political career in perspective, Arum said.
“You have to realize that he’s no longer just a boxer who is carefree and who loves to indulge in gambling like he did before. He’s now become a very, very serious politician. As a serious politician, he’s a much more serious person and he’s much more concerned about doing things the correct way, and the political way,” said Arum.
“He’s certainly not nearly as carefree as he used to be. There’s no question about that. At first, I thought that it was because he was engaged in Bible studies and all of that sort of stuff, but now that’s back in perspective. He still does Bible studies, but it’s not every night and all of that. But he is really concerned about his political career. That’s, like, of No. 1 importance to him.”
Arum views Pacquiao’s cerebral approach as a good sign.
“He didn’t do that for the third Marquez fight,” said Arum. “He just figured he would go in and beat him, and Freddie couldn’t get his attention because of the personal problems that he was having. As far as Bradley was concerned, he never really considered Bradley any kind of threat.”
PACQUIAO LOOKS TO EXPAND PROMOTIONAL COMPANY TO MEXICO
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, confirmed to RingTV.com that the fighter is looking to expand his MP Promotions’ company’s reach to Mexico.
“We have a couple of scouts that are looking at Mexican fighters, and we’re in talks with two, very intelligent prospects that are 20-1, and, 18-0,” said Koncz.
“I don’t want to give the names until we have the deals finalized. So we’re in the process of talking to two, high-caliber Mexican fighters that we’re going to sign to MP Promotions.”
Koncz said that he is also examining a television deal.
“I’ve made some arrangements to meet with Televisa executives to discuss with them the possibility of forming a partnership and performing some shows with MP Promotions in Mexico. We’re looking to do some shows in Mexico to pay back Manny’s fans, because we respect the Mexican fans,” said Koncz.
“Manny’s always thankful to his fans, and we also know that there a tremendous amount of talented, Mexican boxers. We’re looking to do a show somewhere in the first quarter of next year. That’s going to give our Filipino fighters some opportunities at the lighter weights if this all comes together.”
The Guerrero-Berto undercard will also include an HBO-televised undercard, contracted 152-pound bout between hard-punching welterweight Keith Thurman (18-0, 17 KOs) and former WBO 147-pound beltlholder Carlos Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs).
“I’m living the dream right now. I’ve been fighting since I was seven years old and this is what I want, to be in a big fight on a big stage on HBO. We both want to be champions and one of us already has been and I’m up and coming. I plan on taking out many people during my career and being champion at 154 or 147. I have a lot of confidence going into this fight. I’m strong and ready,” said Thurman.
“I’m going to do my thing ‘One Time.’ This fight is what I’m talking about..I don’t want no chumps. He’s already looking forward and talking about fighting Canelo Alvarez, but I like that. I like the confidence he has, because I want to be in a good fight. I have plenty of confidence as well. So don’t blink, as I have a lot of early knockouts and I have the abilities and skills to make that happen again on Saturday night.”
In featured non-televised undercard bouts, junior middleweight Jermell Charlo (18-0, 9 KOs), of Houston, Tex., will face Dashon Johnson (13-8-3, 4 KOs), of Escondido, Calif., junior featherweight Randy Caballero (16-0, 8 KOs), of Coachella, Calif., takes on Mexico’s Rigoberto Casillas (8-8-1, 6 KOs), and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale (1-0, 1 KO) tackles Mike Bissett (1-0, 1 KO), of Nashville.
In additional undercard bouts, heavyweight Gerald Washington (4-0, 3 KO’s), of Vallejos, Calif., faces Jamiah Williamson (3-4, 2 KO’s) of Gardena, Calif., featherweight Manny Robles Jr. (2-0, 1 KO) takes on fellow Los Angeles product Misael Martinez (0-6), and Cincinnati lightweight Robert Easter Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) meets Bell’s Carlos Gonzalez (1-2), of Bell, Calif.
TYSON FURY-KEVIN JOHNSON SLATED FOR DEC. 1
Heavyweight Tyson Fury (19-0, 14 KOs) will face Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson (28-2-1, 13 KOs) on Dec. 1 on Super Channel, Canada’s only national English pay television network, as part of a special edition of Super Channel Fights courtesy of Hennessy Sports at 4 pm ET.
The 6-foot-3 Johnson, 33, has won six of his past seven fights, including four by stoppage, since having lost by unanimous decision to WBC beltholder Vitali Klitschko in December of 2009. The 6-9 Fury, 24, will be after his fifth straight knockout against Johnson, whom he will meet at Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“Johnson is just the kind of opponent that I want at this stage of my career. We needed a world class fighter, and we have got one, and when I take him apart the world will sit up and take notice. I’m not going around getting opponents out of graveyards, fighting guys well past their best like some other heavyweights in Britain,” said Fury.
“I’m taking on Kevin Johnson, who has fought for a major world title and been the distance with Vitali Klitschko. I am getting closer to a shot at Klitschko myself and I’m going to show Vitali why he has to fight me because when I do a number on Johnson and get him out of there I’ll have done a better job than Vitali did on him. I’m really looking forward to fighting again in Belfast, the support I get there is great and to bring such a big fight there is terrific for the fans. Johnson is going to be tough, he’s a hard man but I’ll be in the best shape of my life. The fans can expect fireworks, that’s for sure.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy says Johnson is going to be the perfect world-class test for Fury.
“Kevin Johnson has been there and done it, and he wants another shot at the world title. He sees Tyson as the route to that, and that’s why he has taken the fight. He’s a very dangerous opponent, he’s a clever boxer, he’s never been stopped and he can punch, so Tyson has his work cut out,” said Hennessy.
“But I believe that Tyson is the best heavyweight in the world and he’ll show that again with the way he takes care of Johnson. Johnson has been asking for this fight for a long time and we have granted his wish unlike a lot of other fighters who have avoided him as he is a very dangerous fighter over 12 rounds.”
Johnson, however, is confident of victory.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to step into the ring with Tyson Fury on December 1, in Belfast. It’s a fight that I’ve been looking to make for a long time. It’s going to be the best American fighter against the best fighter in the United Kingdom. I give Tyson all the credit in the world for stepping up to the plate and taking the fight. This is the biggest fight of my career since my world title fight against Vitali Klitschko in 2009,” said Johnson.
“I look forward to giving the fans what they deserve, an action packed, explosive and exciting fight. Tyson is a helluva fighter but he’s never seen anything like the “Kingpin” up close and personal. I’m on a mission to claim the heavyweight title and Tyson Fury is in my way. I’m not Derek Chisora or Neven Pajkic. I’m the real deal and Tyson will find that out on December 1. Don’t blink. It’s going to be a short night.”
WILL ROSINSKY FACES OTIS GRIFFIN
New York super middleweight Will “Power” Rosinsky (16-2, 9 KOs) will return to the ring opposite Sacramento’s Otis Griffin (24-10-2, 10 KOs) on Dec. 19 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
Rosinsky is coming off July’s unanimous decision loss to former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik, this, after having won two straight following his other loss to Edwin Rodriguez by unanimous decision in October of last year.
Griffin is coming off a second-round knockout victory over Adam Collins in August that ended a four-fight losing streak.
“I’m thrilled about this because his team made numerous inquiries about fighting me. He’s a very experienced fighter who lost some controversial decisions against world class opponents,” said Rosinky, who has fought 15 of his 18 bouts in New York City.
“Against me, there will be no controversy because the judges won’t be needed. I’m looking forward to returning to the Big Apple. I’ve had many good memories here and I’m putting the work in during my training to make sure that the fans will enjoy a great fight on the 19th.”
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Hennessy Sports
Photo by Kenneth Goldberg
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com