Friday, November 4th 2011
Pacquiao: “I Know Marquez’s Style Very Well”
What more can you say about Manny Pacquiao, the king of Planet Boxing? That he’s won a record eight titles in eight different divisions? That he’s a Congressman in his native Philippines? That he rose from an almost unimaginable poverty to achieve all these things? We know all this already.
So, in advance of welterweight champ Pacquiao’s Nov. 12th defense in Las Vegas of his arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez, of Mexico, let’s allow him, his trainer, and his promoter do the talking. What follows is a transcript of a conference call with the three had with members of the international media.
BOB ARUM: We are very, very excited as we wind down to the much anticipated Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Márquez fight. The promotion has been a long journey – the promotion started in September in the Philippines and along the way went to México City and then both fighters continued on in their training. Manny in the Philippines and then the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, and Juan Manuel in México City. I think everybody involved with the promotion has done a terrific job and I want to thank HBO – I think the two segments of 24/7 were outstanding and I believe the best is yet to come with segments 3 and 4. Tomorrow night [Thursday, Nov. 3 at 12:05 a.m. ET/PT on ABC] Manny will be appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel Live, which has become a normal routine for Manny’s fights. Jimmy is a great guy and it should be terrific and there will be an announcement soon of the date the CNN Piers Morgan Tonight interview will take place with Manny, Freddie and myself. It has really been thrilling for our company to be involved in this promotion and the man that brings a new image and a new excitement to boxing is the fighting Congressman from the Philippines, the pound-for-pound best fighter in boxing, the welterweight champion, Manny Pacquiao.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Thank you everybody and thank you for this conference call.
FREDDIE ROACH: Manny Pacquiao is on fire right now and he is training really well for this fight. He’s got a little spark – he was slapped in the face a little bit by Márquez in the Philippines, twice talking about the first two fights he thought he won and I think Manny is going to pay him back and payback’s a bitch.
What has Márquez been saying to irritate you?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Mainly because he was saying that he was robbed in the first two fights. This third fight will answer all of the doubts and all the questions.
Why do you pick the same sparring partners instead of ones that emulate your opponent?
FREDDIE ROACH: We started with a new guy and we have had the Roman brothers and another guy from Las Vegas and he lasted one day and the Roman brothers had to leave because they had a fight coming up and these guys have been here a long time and I just feel they are good and it is the right work at the right time.
The Cavanagh guy is new and he has a style very similar to Márquez. These guys do have very similar styles to Márquez and the other two guys can last and are very good. Beltran has done a very good job also.
Is it important to have sparring partners that you feel close with?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The sparring partners we had for this fight were great and they did fight like Márquez. I like to treat the sparring partners well because they are in camp and need to give me good work. We are a team.
Do you have a comment on Victor Conte’s declaration that Márquez’ trainer is a steroid dealer?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I do not have a comment on that.
How important is it for you to knock out Márquez?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am not going to say I am going to knock Márquez out but I will say that I trained really hard for this fight and we did a lot of things and made a lot of sacrifices so if the knockout comes it will come. I just want to make sure I am in the best condition come November 12.
If the knockout comes it will be a reward for the hard work that I did. I worked hard for this fight making sure that I am ready for the fight and in 100% condition on that night mentally and physically.
Has Márquez’ style changed since the last time you fought?
FREDDIE ROACH: He is more offensive since we last fought him and has changed his style a little bit and I hope he stays offensive because that’s what we like and it will make for an entertaining fight.
Recent photos of Márquez show he has gained some muscle – does that trouble you?
FREDDIE ROACH: No, it looks like he’s been working hard. He definitely looks bigger and stronger. He will be easier to see which will help us. He’s probably been doing some heavy lifting to make him stronger. If Márquez wants to come attack us we are 100% ready for that.
Márquez countered with a right hand in first fights – how will you deal with that?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I know Márquez’ style very well from the first two fights so that’s where we will start again. We have started different moves for his counter-punches so I am ready for this fight.
How do you prepare for a fight and be a Congressman at the same time?
MANNY PACQUIAO: It takes a lot balance. As a boxer I represent a nation and a people when I train for a fight and when I fight. As a Congressman, I represent the interests of the people who elected me. I am their government representative and their voice. Even in training camp I am in daily contact with my congressional office. It can be challenging but I do enjoy it.
It seems as though there is animosity for the first time in one of your fights. How do you feed about Márquez overall?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I will never underestimate Márquez. I trained hard for this fight and feel strong. This is a lot different because over the past few years I have improved a lot. I think I am a lot better now mostly because of my right hand. There is also a big difference in my power and moving up in weight from our last fights is going to be a difference. I move better now too.
FREDDIE ROACH: Manny likes everyone in the world but because of what Márquez said when they were in the Philippines, well I feel that really got to Manny. It gave him an extra spark in training camp. It was a great training camp and I have never seen Manny as motivated to train.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am excited to come back to the Jimmy Kimmel show – that’s a Fred Sternburg tradition.
Will anything special happen on Jimmy Kimmel Live?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t know what will happen on the show but I know he is going to interview me about the fight – ask me some questions. It will be on at 12:05 a.m., on Thursday night.
BOB ARUM: And we are not giving anything away.
How do you stay focused with numerous distractions going on around you?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I trained very hard for this fight and I have to set aside all of the distractions. I am able to focus on the important tasks I have.
FREDDIE ROACH: Manny handles these things very well and keeps them outside the gym. Once he comes through the gym door it’s nothing but boxing and working hard. I like the separation so he doesn’t keep his mind on boxing all the time and distractions like going to Jimmy Kimmel – I have no problem with that. It’s not a distraction at all – it’s Manny Pacquiao.
Are you surprised by news coming out of Márquez training camp re: trainers history?
BOB ARUM: I think it would behoove all of the press to stop dealing in generalities. First of all, the way I run an operation, the fighter can hire anyone we wants as a trainer and a conditioner. For a period of time, people like Victor Conte and this guy Hernandez dealt in steroids with major athletes. But that’s old news in this sense. Most of the intelligent people can see that when he was handling Donaire and this guy who is now with Márquez know that you can achieve all of the benefits that you used to achieve with steroids with natural supplements without any risk of illegality or without any dangers that steroids caused, like steroid rage and other long-term problems. If Conte and this guy were dealing with steroids with anybody, to me, it makes no sense because they have been through the legal system in the U.S. – Conte was in jail and this guy apparently testified and got a suspended sentence and the last thing they would do is deal in illegal substances. You don’t have to do that anymore. Wake up and see what these conditioners are saying. They are using natural and totally legal supplements and using state of the art conditioning methods. Not because of anything other than the fact there have been advancements in the legal methods. The steroid problem is fading into the past.
Do you feel this fight will have more excitement than two previous ones?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I believe this fight will be more exciting because there will be a lot more boxing in the ring because of Marquez’ style. In the first two fights, there was a lot of boxing in the ring and this time there will be more.
Is there a Márquez weakness you will exploit in this fight?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, we know the weakness but we won’t tell you that. You have to tune in on November 12th.
Can you talk about Freddie & Manny relationship?
BOB ARUM: I think the relationship with Freddie and Manny is very unique. I know there have been others like Ali and Angelo but I think Freddie’s and Manny’s relationship is more of equals. At a particular point in time Ali became so big that he overwhelmed even Angelo as a trainer and he told Angelo when he wanted to train and what training he would do towards the end of his career. With Freddie and Manny, Freddie is the traditional trainer and Manny is the boxer, which is very unique, particularly over the period of time they have been together.
I see you signed a deal with Hennessy and was curious to whether you drink it or not?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I have tasted it, but drink responsibly.
BOB ARUM: Thank you for being on the call. We are looking forward to Saturday night, November 12th. Thursday night, Manny will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Saturday at Santa Anita Park, home of Breeders’ Cup, will be Márquez, who is flying in from Mexico and Timothy Bradley, who is fighting Casamayor, public workouts. Márquez will be staying in LA on Sunday to do Spanish TV programs and then will come to Las Vegas where is Grand Arrival will be on Monday. Manny’s Grand Arrival will be on Tuesday and Wednesday is the press conference. On Thursday is the press conference for the undercard fighters; Friday (6 PM ET) is the weigh-in and Saturday is the night we have all been waiting for, the sensational 3rd fight in the great trilogy between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Thank you to Bob and all the listeners for supporting us and I hope you don’t miss the fight next week because there is going to be a lot of boxing in the ring for all the fans.
Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), the lone representative of the Sarangani province in the Philippines, is in his final 10 days of intense training for his defense of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against professional nemesis and three-division world champion Juan Manuel Márquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), of México City. Pacquiao and Márquez, with world titles in 11 weight divisions between them, will go toe-to-toe on Saturday, November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. Pacquiao-Márquez III will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Remaining closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are on sale and available at all Las Vegas MGM Resorts properties.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Márquez Boxing, Tecate and MGM Grand, The Pacquiao-Márquez III world championship telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.
Episode No. 3 of the all-access reality series “24/7 Pacquiao/Márquez” premieres This Saturday! November 5, at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Episodes No. 1 and No. 2 are available at HBO ON DEMAND® and HBO GO® in addition to multiple replays on the network. The four-part series premieres on three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.
For Pacquiao-Márquez III fight week updates, log on to old.toprank.com and www.hbo.com.