In three days, Manny Pacquiao and longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez will clash for the third time in what promises to be a meaningful match for all involved.
Even though Pacquiao is being widely recognized as the heavy favorite in the November 12 showdown between him and Marquez, the Filipino champion isn’t letting the outside noise get to his head. For him, this bout is about proving his opponent -- the man who claimed to have rightfully beaten him twice before -- wrong on all counts. He won’t simple settle for victory – he wants to win decisively.
In the days leading up to the fight, Pacquiao and his camp have been slow to admit that they’re 100 percent ready for what’s to come. Estimates of readiness have ranged, with some alluding to the No. 1 pound-for-pounder being 90 percent ready, and Pacquiao himself saying he was at about “97 percent” just a few days ago.
Well, in a recent interview with ABS-CBN News, famed trainer Freddie Roach put all his cards on the table.
"He's 100% ready for this fight. We did the game plan down and we're ready to go," said Roach.
Not that being totally ready to go will deter the champ from working hard, though.
On Tuesday, Pacquiao started the day early with a brisk 10-lap run around the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) track. Shortly thereafter, he was joined by his brother Bobby as the pair proceeded to do some wind sprints and ladder drills.
Following a momentary pause for prayer, Pacquiao headed off to breakfast and then mandatory events with fans at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, the eventual venue for Saturday’s match. Once he was finished meeting and greeting with the public, it was back to in-ring work for the champ as he returned to the Top Rank Gym to practice his hooks and uppercuts – blows he hopes to ultimately knock Marquez out with when it’s all said and done.
Based on Pacquiao’s continued dedication to his workout regimen in the lead-in to this match, it’s safe to say that he isn’t taking anything for granted. The continuous praise, the non-stop talk of his inevitable victory – nothing is phasing the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Will this devotion to doing things the right way end up paying off? Could Manny’s love for Shakira give him that extra boost needed for an early-round knock out?
All these questions and more will be answered on Saturday.