A lot will be on the line when Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez square off this December. For Pacquiao, this is going to be an opportunity to show that he still has it. In the wake of fans, critics and even some people in his own camp questioning whether or not his best days are behind him, the Filipino champion is no doubt relishing the chance to prove the doubters wrong.
For Marquez, this is going to be about showing that he was in fact robbed during at least one of his prior showdowns versus Pacquiao. (He would argue that he was robbed three times, no doubt.) If he, at 39, could take his arch rival down for good – that would legitimize and cement his already impressive career more than any other feat could.
During a recent interview, Marquez made it clear that he understood the stakes in this one. Moreover, he wasn’t going to back down from his foe – even if everybody does seem to think that him losing is inevitable.
“Tell him to train hard because I am training very hard,“ Marquez said (via World Boxing News).
Aside from when he was seeking out Pacquiao for a rematch a few years ago, Marquez has never been one for dramatics. He has never been one for trash talk. Like most old school fighters, throughout his career, Dinamita has generally been all about handling business. It is no accident that he paused to send that message to Pacquiao, though. He is trying to get into the Filipino champ’s head.
Will it work? Time will tell.
Of course, it is probably worth noting that en route to his current place atop the pound-for-pound charts, Pacquiao has endured a lot of trash talk. To date, nothing has thrown him off his game. Well, scratch that – personal issues threw him off his game last November. But aside from that, nothing has ever rattled him.
Who knows, though? Maybe the intense pressure of having to prove himself will change how Pacquiao reacts to this sort of stuff.
Stay tuned, it will be interesting to see if any more trash talk is fired off from either side.