Manny Pacquiao is lined up to fight old rival Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time at the end of the year and the Mexican challenger is confident he can get the verdict this time after two controversial endings in their previous meetings.
Marquez insists he both won his two previous fights with Pacquiao, 32, and the ageing but durable fighter believes that even though time is not on his side, he can upset the odds against the Filipino legend who now combines boxing with being a congressman in his homeland and all manner of other projects including films and singing in a band.
“This is a very hard fight,” admitted Marquez of his scheduled 12 November encounter at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Marquez will be 38 by the time of the welterweight fight. He drew his initial encounter with Pacquiao in 2004 despite being knocked down three times in the opening round.
In their much-anticipated 2008 rematch, Marquez controversially lost in a 12-round split decision and after each contest he insisted he was robbed.
But despite of his claim of deserving the verdict in both matches, Marquez still gives the eight-time world champion a measure of respect, acknowledging that he has to be in his best ever shape to beat the Pacman.
Marquez has a lot of heart, strong chin and hard head, there is no doubt about that, witnessed in losing on points to Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather in 2009. But he is not an exciting fighter nor concussive puncher at the top level.
With that in mind, Marquez, whose record is 52-5 record with 38 knockouts, will have a tune up fight on 16 July against a still to be decided opponent.
Mayweather remains Pacquiao’s sole target and his camp hope Money can sort out his legal and domestic problems soon so that the richest fight in history can be made.
Pacquiao strolled to a points win against the negative ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley earlier this month in what was expected to be a slug-fest but turned out to be boring because Mosley’s intent was to survive to the final bell after being knocked down in the third round.
As there is little interest in Pacquiao meeting Marquez again, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum announced that should the Mexican lose the July match, the bout with Pacquiao won’t happen.