When you are dealing with an established rivalry like the one Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have, there are very few new storylines to work with. Fans know the players. They know the history. They understand the stakes. The reason that every quote Paquiao and Marquez have uttered to date sounds nearly identical to the ones they have repeatedly uttered before is because they are the same. (Their last two bouts, that is; obviously they’re very different from 2004.)
In nutshell, here is everything you need to know about this pair’s fourth showdown: Marquez thinks he was robbed on three separate occasions, but especially in last November’s bout against Pacquiao. The Filipino champ, conversely, thinks that it’s a bit insane for Marquez to suggest that he was robbed not once, not twice, but three times – particularly when mathematical, undeniable evidence exists suggesting that it was in fact he who was robbed by incorrect scoring on the first-go-round. Beyond that, though, Pacquiao has a certain desire to prove his naysayers wrong in this one – largely because he realizes that he didn’t perform to expectations in his last two bouts.
On Tuesday, Pacquiao, Freddie Roach and Bob Arum hosted a media conference to promote Pacquiao-Marquez IV. Some of the responses that Pacquiao and Roach offered were particularly interesting. (Big thanks to Fight News for transcribing.)
One of the major discussion points in the lead-up to this bout has been the question of Pacquiao’s intensity level. Would he go for the early knockout? Would he at least try to be more aggressive than he was last November, when he appeared to sleepwalk through the entire match? The Filipino champ and his trainer addressed that point head on yesterday.
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“Right now my mind is focused on being more aggressive for this fight. If there is a chance in the ring during the fight, why not make the fight easy (knock him out) if I have the opportunity?” Pacquiao replied, when asked if he would seek out a knockout.
When pressed regarding whether he was concerned about Marquez’s strength, Pacquiao replied: "Our strategy for this fight is to be more aggressive. Develop strength more and focus on speed. I am not worried about his strength”
Freddie Roach echoed those sentiments.
“The thing is Marquez fought the fight at a slow pace the last time. We plan to fight the fight at a much faster pace this time like we did in the first fight in the early rounds – that’s where we had the most success. Going by all the tapes we have watched, we do our best when we are more aggressive. More hand speed. We are going to use a lot of that,” he said.
“I don’t think it is a factor. I don’t think muscle-men have a better chin. If anything, I think if you put a lot of muscle he will be a little slower than he used to be and we are going to take advantage of that.”
Pacquiao was also pressed on whether he was feeling any additional pressure heading into this one. Predictably, he kept his answer short and sweet: “No.”
Roach, thankfully, expounded on the point a bit.
“No, I just do the job the best I can to get Manny ready for this fight. I thought Manny won the last fight [against Timothy Bradley] 11 rounds to 1 so I don’t really consider that a loss. So it’s just business as usual.”
And finally, to the inevitable “if you can’t get Floyd Mayweather into the ring next year will you continue to fight?” question, Pacquiao had this response: “Yes, I will continue to fight through next year.”
There you have it. Regardless of what happens, barring a total massacre by Marquez, Pacquiao is sticking around to fight past this year.
(Kudos Fight News)