In one of two world title fights on Saturday, May 7, on Showtime Championship Boxing at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on west coast), Juan Manuel Marquez (43-2-1 33 KOs) will defend his IBF/WBA featherweight titles against Victor Polo (34-4-3 21 KOs), who is the WBA No. 5 featherweight contender. Two-time WBC champion Jose Luis Castillo (52-6-1 45 KOs) and WBO champion Diego Corrales (39-2 33 KOs) will collide in a world lightweight title unification bout on May 7.
Marquez: I had a great preparation. My training has gone very well. I am looking forward to this fight and I think the people will really enjoy it. I am looking forward to giving them a great fight.
Polo: I know it will be a real tough fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on May 7. I have been training here in Colombia. I always train here for big fights and I think I have done well, so we stayed with this again. I am looking forward to another great fight.
Begin Press Questions.
Question: Juan, what are your thoughts on Polo and can you get up for this fight?
Marquez: Some may think otherwise, but I think that I am fighting a real tough guy here. He has fought for the championship quite a few times and has done well in those fights.
Question: Juan, do you think that your fight with Polo will kind of be like the fight with Manny Pacquiao? When you fought Pacquiao, you finally figured him out after the second round. Do you think that you have the game plan to beat Polo?
Marquez: Yes, you have to come in there and be smart about it. You cannot just go reckless on this guy.
Question: Victor, will you try to fight Marquez like Pacquiao did?
Polo: I know he is a great fighter, but the key to the whole thing is going to be who trained the best. Whoever is going to come out the best is whoever trained the best.
Question: Are you concerned that Polo, like Pacquiao, is left-handed?
Marquez: I think the fact that I face so many left-handers now, my experience has taken over. I know how to handle them better. The thing with Pacquiao is that I learned not to be overconfident. I was so confident going into that fight that I probably took him a little lighter than I should have.
Question: Victor, you have had so many tough breaks in your career losing those close fights. Is there anything you can do differently about this? Does it motivate you having been so close to championship fights?
Polo: I have had a lot of controversial results in my career. I hope that the referees in this fight with Juan Manuel are able to do their job like I always do and keep track of what is going on in the ring. I am not afraid of whatever happens.
Question: Juan, how did you manage to come back after getting knocked down in the first round against Pacquiao?
Marquez: It was one of those fights where, when that happened, all I could think about was my titles. I worked so hard to get them. I had great conditioning. I knew I would be able to get up. After I got up, I knew I still had a lot left to fight and nobody is going to take my titles that easy. It took me a long time to get them and it was a very hard road to the championships and it is going to take an awful lot to take my titles away.
Question: Juan, should you be successful in your defense against Polo, will there be options for you to move up in weight at no risk whatsoever to your two world titles?
Marquez: Right now, all I am focused on is May 7. I know this is a fight that I need to win to even think about anything else. But as far as my career is concerned, I have no problem with defending my titles, staying here at 126, or going up to 130 if the opportunity is really good.
Question: Victor, what weaknesses do you plan to exploit against Marquez?
Polo: I have watched videos of his fights; he is a great boxer. But he also gets hits. So that is what we have to take advantage of. When we hit him, we have to do it.
Question: Victor, how frustrating has it been for you to not get any of the decisions in any of those close fights and do you feel you got robbed against Harrison? Also, do you feel that you should have been a world champion a long time ago?
Polo: As far as I am concerned I feel like that I am the champion without a crown. But that is just the way this sport is. I stay in this because I think I am good and I have shown that. Against Harrison, there is no doubt that I won that fight, like a couple of others that they took away from me. All I know is that I am a good boxer, people want to see me and I enjoy going up there.
Question: Victor, most boxing fans know about your three losses, all by split decision and one technical, but can you comment on your first loss as a pro in 1992 against Pedroza? What happened in that fight?
Polo: I think it was either my fifth or sixth fight as a professional. I was just beginning in the featherweight division. He was a natural 130. I was about 126. I just gave up too many advantages in that fight.
Question: So, really in your mind, do you consider yourself an unbeaten fighter?
Polo: I think so and I think my record shows that. After that Pedroza fight, if you look at all the other fights, you can find me winning those fights easily.
Question: Juan, are you attributing the three knockdowns in the first round to Pacquiao not so much that Pacquiao was a southpaw, but because you were just overconfident? Are you saying that you just took Pacquiao lightly in that fight?
Marquez: We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but from the way it started, I thought, ‘Wow, I can get to this guy.’ It was not whether he was left-handed or not, I was just careless.
Question: Victor, what do you think the key is to getting the victory on May 7 on Showtime?
Polo: I know he is a great boxer and so it is not going to be easy. But I am not going to stop throwing punches until they raise my hand and I am the world champion.
Question: Juan, do you feel you are getting the acceptance from the Mexican fans finally?
Marquez: I have shown in the ring what I am capable of doing. People notice that and I am bringing on the best boxers I can face. I have shown what I can do and I think I am getting more respect.
Question: Juan and Victor, do either of you have any problems making 126?
Marquez: I am only weighing a little over 126 right now. But I know that if I work hard, I will never have any problem with the weight.
Polo: I have no problem with the weight at all. I have been eating real well and working. Even with Harrison, I weighed a perfectly fit 126-pounds.
Question: Juan, what does it mean for the Marquez brothers to be world champions at the same time?
Marquez: Obviously, we are very happy to be world champions at the same time. I think we have seen how hard each other works to get to this point and the key is to not let down and keep doing it, keep pushing ourselves to even do better and keep winning and just keep having a career like we have been having so far.
Question: Juan, do you ever spar with each other?
Marquez: No, it has been a long time since we have actually been in the ring. He trains at a different time than I do.
Question: Juan, the last time that you got into a fight with Rafael as kids, who won?
Marquez: It was a draw.
Question: Juan, if you saw the Morales-Pacquiao fight, what did you think of it?
Marquez: Eric did great. I am sure he saw the video of our fight and was able to take advantage of everything we showed against him.
Question: Juan, would you like to fight Pacquiao again or is that something you do not want to do and move on?
Marquez: Obviously, I would like to fight Pacquiao. I would like to show the people who really won that fight on May 8 of last year. I think it would be another great fight.
Question: Juan, would you like to fight Eric Morales even if you have to go to 130?
Marquez: I have no problem fighting Eric Morales. Those are the kinds of fights that I want to fight. That is what I am looking forward to – fighting the big names.
End Press Questions. Begin Closing Comments.
Polo: Come May 7, you are going to see a great fight.
Marquez: We are prepared for the fight and I think the people will enjoy it. I think the fans will be the true winners. I have no prediction for the fight. All I know is that the fans are going to walk out very happy after our fight.