It was yet another setback against Pacquiao after having battled through a draw and a split-decision loss. 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.
“I still get very angry when I think about hearing those scores being read,” said Marquez. “After two fights I felt I had won at least 19 of the 24 rounds. Pacquiao’s four knockdowns made the scores closer than they really were. Look, after 24 rounds, I have two scores in my favor and one even and Pacquiao’s got three his way.”
Marquez returned to the ring, however, and rebounded with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s junior welterweight belt.
“Right after the fight, I was very upset. I said what’s the point. After a while, we sat down,” said Marquez, who turned 39 in August.
“I sat with my team, and I sat with my family, and we decided that maybe there’s an opportunity for a fourth fight. We didn’t know how realistic that was.”
Marquez will get another shot at redemption against Pacquiao when they returns to MGM Grand for Saturday night’s fourth bout, for which Wednesday’s final press conference was held at The Hollywood Theatre at the MGM.
“I want to be in another great fight. The most important thing in this is that for this fight, Manny Pacquiao knows me, and I know him,” said Marquez. “This fight will be another war. Everybody is going to watch another war because he knows me and I know him.”
Marquez has been on edge throughout the lead up to the fight, to the point where he does not believe that he can be close friends with Pacquiao beyond their mutual relationship as fighters.
“I feel that he does have some respect for me because of what has happened in the ring. We’re professionals in the ring. In the ring, everything goes and we just go at it. Outside of the ring, there is a professional respect between both of us,” said Marquez.
“I think that we respect each other as professionals, and I think that we’re professional boxers and we both do our jobs, but after what’s gone on in the first three fights, I doubt that we could ever have a real, personal relationship. I don’t believe that we can be that kind of friends. Inside of the ring, there’s a respect that will always be there. But outside of it, who knows?”
For Pacquiao, the ire does not seem to run as deeply.
“We’re friends outside of the ring. But inside of the ring, we have a job to do,” said Pacquiao during an interview with media members. “All of my opponents, I have always treated them like a friend, and like a brother.”
That was, however, before Pacquiao was informed of Marquez’s comments.
“That’s his problem,” said Pacquiao, adding that he never has faced an opponent that he did not like. “I obey the commandments of God, you know, love your brother and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Still, it was Pacquiao’s camp member, Franklin Jing Gacal, who stoked the flames of the rival with Marquez.
“Thirty-six rounds for these guys isn’t enough. But not to contradict myself, 48 rounds will be too much,” said Jing Gacal.
“This rivalry will never reach 48 rounds. Especially in a fight like this, where both fighters believe they won the previous 36 rounds.”
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org