Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pacquiao vs Marquez IV is On

Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao has decided to fight Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8. Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told the Manila Standard that Pacquiao had chosen Marquez over a rematch with Timothy “Deseret Storm” Bradley, pointing out that “next to a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr a fight with Marquez would be the best.” 

Koncz who was driving back to Los Angeles after finalizing details of an agreement with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in Las Vegas said “you know how Manny is. He wants to entertain the fans. In his last fight with Marqauez which was close, some of the Mexican fans booed the decision. Manny cares for the Mexicans who have always supported him and he wants to bring them back with a great fight.”

Arum confirmed the December 8 Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 face off and indicated he will hopefully have the contracts signed by the end of the week. He said “this should be a good one.” Koncz said he had discussed the training schedule of Pacquiao with Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach who is in Las Vegas training Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for his huge title defense against Diamond Belt champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez on Saturday before a record-breaking crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. 

Koncz said that Pacquiao had agreed to set up training camp at the Wild Card Gym and not split his preparations for the fight with the first part taking place in the Philippine summer capital of Baguio City. In an earlier interview with Jenna Jay of Doghouse Boxing’s “On the Ropes” radio show, Roach said a showdown with Marquez “is a very difficult fight” and because Marquez has a difficult style, “we just have to get in the gym and work real hard for this fight.” 

Pacquiao who is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Friday for two stagings of his entertainment show telecast on GMA 7 appears to be engrossed in his congressional re-election bid, charity work and his role as a bible-toting preacher prompting Roach to tell Jenna Jay that Pacquiao “really needs to focus. It’s a very difficult fight style-wise for us. 

He does give us problems but I think if Manny gets in the best shape he can , we will finally close the book on Marquez.” Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the opening round of their first encounter before the Mexican counter-punched his way to a split draw although an admitted scoring error by judge Burt Clements who scored the first round 10-7 instead of 10-6 as the two other judges did, cost Pacquiao the decision in a WBA/IBF featherweight title bout. 

Pacquiao won a close rematch by a majority decision to grab Marquez’ WBC super featherweight title and then retained his WBO welterweight title in a hugely controversial split decision victory. Roach noted that Marquez who is trained by another Hal-of-Famer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain “is very slick and he knows how to get Manny to move to his right hand and we just got to nullify that. 

We just have to find a way to avoid that lead right hand. We have not found a way yet in three fights but we better get it done in this fight or we won’t win this one.” Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza echoed Roach’s sentiments and said a Marquez fight “is not going to be easy. He stressed that Pacquiao “has to go back to the old ways of training, focus more on the other stuff” and train solely at the Wild Card Gym.

By Ronnie Nathanielsz

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