LAS VEGAS — Legendary Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain briefly addressed speculation concerning Juan Manuel Marquez and performance-enhancing drugs, as well as the four-division titlewinner’s plan of attack and the ringside judging, among other things, with RingTV.com as he heads into Saturday night’s fourth bout with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Marquez is coming off November’s majority decision loss to Pacquiao after having fought to a draw and lost by split-decision.
Dropped three times by Pacquiao in the first round of their initial meeting as featherweights in May of 2004, and once in the third round of their second as junior lightweights in March of 2008, Marquez gained yet another shot at redemption when Pacquiao chose to face him over a rematch with Tim Bradley, whose disputed split-decision victory dethroned Pacquiao as WBO welterweight beltholder in June.
Beristain discussed the assertions by Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach that Marquez should abandon his counter-punching style for a toe-to-toe approach seemingly with the hopes of improving Pacquiao’s chances of delivering a knockout.
Beristain also mulled the judges for Saturday night, who are Adelaide Byrd of Las Vegas, Steve Weisfeld of New Jersey and John Keane of England.
Byrd scored it for Trout, 119-109, while Weisfeld and Sam Poturaj both had it 117-111, this, serving to quell a boisterous, partisan Cotto crowd at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where Cotto is an overwhelming fan favorite and had never lost.
Beristain shared his thoughts about all of the above in this Q&A with RingTV.com:
Translated by Top Rank’s Ricardo Jiminez.
Nacho Beristain: I’m not going to even going to touch that steroid thing. It’s stupid. Everybody knows that there’s nothing to it. I can tell you that he’s very motivated.
This is the fight that he’s wanted, and this is the fight he wants to win, he wants to have his hand raised inside the ring. That’s what he wants. He’s looking forward to that.
RingTV.com: Does Juan feel as though there are ways in which he can capitalize even more on the openings he created before?
NB: When Pacquiao comes in, that’s our best fight. Every time he comes in, we will throw a combination, or a three-punch combination like the one that opened his lip in the last fight.
So, if Pacquiao comes at us recklessly, like he’s going to try to knock us out, that’s going to be great for us, because he will open up, and we’ll be able to land not only three shots, but maybe five shots.
RingTV.com: Do you see Juan standing toe-to-toe with Pacquiao, as he and his trainer, Roach, have suggested?
NB: There is no way that Pacquaio and Marquez can do a toe-to-toe fight. There is simply no way. There is no such things with these guys. They can’t and will not fight toe-to-toe, because that’s not their styles.
Pacquiao has the most success when he jumps on the guy and tries, lands punches, and tries to go back. And then, the opponent thinks that he’s relaxing, and then Pacquiao will come right back and hurt you again.
It’s one of those things where he looks like he’s pulling out, but he’s not pulling out. What he’s doing is waiting to jump on you again, and that’s how he hurts most guys.
We know that. We know when he’s trying to do that. So I have a fighter who is a finesse fighter, a technician, and an elite boxer.
So he’s not going to get caught up into any of that toe-to-toe. They’re not going to do that. It’s impossible that you’re going to see these guys go toe-to-toe.
RingTV.com: Is it a comfort factor for you that two of the judges are Byrd and Weisfeld, who scored widely in favor of Trout against Cotto at The Garden last weekend?
NB: We came to do our job, and we’re hoping that the judges do their job. That’s all that you can hope for. We don’t care who they are, I just want them to do their job and be fair when they judge what’s happening in the ring.
NB: What we want to do is to land more punches maybe, you know? Maybe be more active on it and land more punches if we can.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com