When Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez square off this December, you will see two guys who couldn’t care less about the lasting ramifications from their bout. Neither will be concerned with what it does to their wins and losses totals. Neither will be concerned with the amount of damage they inflict or personally take. Neither will be concerned with what the future holds. Both will be out to do one thing and one thing only: make a point.
Even though Marquez has never actually beaten his Filipino arch rival, he has come a lot closer to doing it (legitimately, not with the help of horrible judges) than any other fighter has in eight years. There are a lot of boxing fans out there, in fact, who believe that he was the rightful winner of their November 2011 showdown. And because he has come so close, the fact that he couldn’t actually pull out a win officially must be killing Marquez inside.
On this go-round, he is going to come with some aggression. He isn’t going to be relying on judges to hand him a victory he doesn’t deserve a la Timothy Bradley – he’s going to take that victory himself.
During a recent interview with the good folks at Boxing Scene, Marquez’s trainer, Nacho Beristain, made it abundantly clear that his guy was coming after Pacquiao.
"We want to gain a little more speed. In the third fight we were able to keep up with him, and we want to use that approach again to see if we can put him down on the canvas at least once," Beristain said.
"I would like to believe, and hope to God, that we put him down once or twice - but it is a bit difficult because the Filipino is also a warrior and a very tough fighter. Last time we thought we had the fight in the bag, but look at what happened...you can never tell what the judges are thinking."
Can you believe that? Most guys who have taken on the same foe on multiple occasions and yet never actually won just want that elusive W – not Marquez, though. He is an old school fighter who values pride and respect above all else. And that’s why he has the take no prisoners attitude heading into this one that he absolutely has to have.
He understands the stakes. So does Pacquiao.
This is going to be a great fight.