Manny Pacquiao has acknowledged on numerous occasions that he wasn’t at the top of his game last November when he last fought Juan Manuel Marquez. For an assortment of reasons, both professional and personal, he came into the proceedings lacking the focus and concentration necessary to beat an opponent of Marquez’s caliber.
He vows to do better this time.
Thanks to a somewhat shocking and extremely unfair loss to Timothy Bradley this past June, Pacquiao’s back is against the wall. Folks could forgive a defeat to Bradley that wasn’t really even a defeat. If Marquez gets the better of him, however, there will be no excuses left for the Filipino champ.
During a recent interview with PhilBoxing, Freddie Roach expounded on why Marquez gave Pacquiao so much trouble on the last go-round.
"We had a great camp last fight (against Marquez) and everything fell apart before the fight, distractions of course. Manny got rid of all that stuff in his life. It's not going to happen this time," Roach said.
And how is the actual training process going to be different this time? Roach covered that, too.
"We'll have a great camp and Manny's attitude is great. I see no problems. I have to come up with a different type of strategy for Marquez. We decked him three times though, we had some success but not as much as I want. He told me that he will knock him out this time and I am going to hold him to do it," he said.
So all involved understand what the stakes are right now? According to Roach – yes.
"Manny understands that he needed that killer instinct back and that firepower. And that people want to see knockouts and not decisions. So, Manny knows that and he promised me a knockout for the first time ever and I'm going to remind him that every day."
December 8 is going to be very interesting.