Episode two of Pacquiao-Marquez III 24/7 debuted on Saturday and two matters of import emerged for me. One, Marquez has a new strength and conditioning coach, Angel Hernandez, who studied at Texas A&M. Two, the Mexican legend, on the advice of his doctor and Gonzalez, no longer drinks his own urine.
Marquez says on the HBo program that he is training for this fight as though it’s his pro debut. It looks like he’s acclimating to the 144 pound region well, as the speed bag he hammers at the gym is coming off its moorings.
Pacquiao, it seems, is also on message. He says he’s now balancing the boxing and Congress juggle that much better. Viewers see inhabitants of his district, Sarangani Province, and hear that six of ten live below the poverty line. Many earn around $12 a month, but sometimes that falls to nothing. Manny, people say, is seen a sympathetic person, and his cattle distribution program and monies directed to fishermen for motors are cause for thanks. Manny says he’s satisfied so far at what he’s done but knows it will take time to make serious inroads. He wants to get a medical center, the provinces’ first, built.
Back in Mexico City, Marquez shows viewers his car collection. It looks like he has at least four but one he doesn’t get to touch–the one his wife won’t let him drive. Trainer Nacho Beristain also won’t let him get his mitts on his vehicle, a ’65 Stang.
Back at Wild Card in LA, we hear about Manny coming to the US, at age 22. He came to Frisco, then took the bus to LA, where he was told about the Wild Card. “That’s the beginning,” he says.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday, he spars. Freddie says he gives about 50-60%, saving the best for fight night. Ray Beltran may tell you that Manny sometimes gives around 90%, in spurts. David Rodela, in his twelfth camp with Manny, says Manny is looking good. Jamie Kavanagh, a greenhorn, gets whacked around good by Manny. Beltran tells Manny he seems sharp as anything, and Manny says it’s because, “I want this one, man.” He says he wants to spar more. The fight is 18 days away…
Marquez is 38, and he wants his body to be in top form at this higher weight. He didn’t do it the right way for Floyd Mayweather, two years ago. We hear, from trainer Nacho Beristain, that he was “carrying rocks” to bulk up, and that impacted his flexibility. Hernandez has him doing things he hasn’t done, and is trying to build up his fast twitch muscles. Urine is out of the picture, we hear. He says he wants to do what works, and if the doc says urine doesn’t, he won’t slurp it.
Hernandez says science and research has advanced, so Marquez shouldn’t be using old methods. He admits JMM isn’t as quick as Pacquiao, but he will be quick, and stronger than Manny.
Advisor Michael Koncz then picks out a $300,000 Ferrari for Manny, who takes it for a spin after he finishes watching himself starring in a movie. The vehicle, a 458 Italia, waits til Pacman finishes the flick.
To wrap up, we hear from Liev Schrieber that both men could retire today and have all the money they could want. But they soldier on, doing what they love and are compelled to do, test themselves in a ring. “It would make sense if they had enough of fighting for a living,” he says. “The one thing they started with still propels them further and higher than ever.”
Part III debuts next Saturday at 9:45 ET, followed by live fights, kicking off at 10:15ET.
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