Manny, Jinkee and Freddie chat in NYC on Sept. 19. The fighter says on Dec. 8 he will look to finish off Marquez, like he tried to in their first fight. (Ed Diller-Top Rank)
Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and promoter Bob Arum came to New York and on Wednesday, banged the drums for the fourth fight between the rivals for the ages, which will take place on Dec. 8, in Las Vegas.
At the Edison Ballroom on 47th St., Pacquiao made clear that he will be gunning for a KO at the MGM, in order to conclusively prove that he is the better man between the two. Marquez, despite the record books showing the Congressman leading, 2-0-1, in their tussles, steadfastly clung to the belief that he won each scrap.
Of course, Manny was asked bout the fight that everyone still wants, Pacquiao-Mayweather, and the recent news that he is partnering up with Mayweather's friend 50 Cent. Manny, during the media scrum after everyone had their say at the mike, admitted, "We met each other and we talked about business, but we didn't finalize yet. We haven't finalized yet, it's a possibility, but we haven't finalized, because we've been busy." He said he wasn't surprised to hook up with 50 because he loves boxing, and Manny loves music. Pacman said that 50 is "a nice guy" and "a smart man" and "good at business" and "a good business partner." Trainer Freddie Roach said he likes that 50 is involved, because it means talking, about a Mayweather fight, is happening. He'd like to see it in March or April, and the sooner the better, because interest if falling off.
Regarding this bout, Manny said this time he will change his training, that he will train only at Wild Card. Does he need a KO? "I think so, to erase the doubt in the minds of the fans and my opponent," he said. He said that before the last fight, he took Tim Bradley lightly, and that he believes to this day that he won, and that it was one sided. He also said he relaxed in the middle rounds, because he thought he was winning.
Of people who say he is dropping off, he said he can "fight 20 rounds." The boxer said he needs to be aggressive for the whole twelve rounds.
Manny said he chose Marquez because he believes he can give the fans a good fight, and that he doesn't think a Bradley fight would be good, because the last one was one sided, in his favor.
The Congressman said he knows how to fight a counterpuncher, like Marquez, and that means being patient, and using his speed. But that would be boring, he said, so he will be aggressive. "To make the fans happy, to make the fight good," he said. He said he could choose an easier fight, to make easy money, but he wants to give the fans a good tussle. He said he is "still young," has a couple years left, and said he relies on Freddie Roach to determine how many fights he has left. Roach said that he has told Manny that he will pull the plug, tell him to walk away, when he sees him slipping, said Manny has agreed to that, and he hasn't seen that yet.
Roach admitted he hasn't figured out Marquez. He said most success against JMM has come when Manny rushed him. "Manny's looking for a knockout and Manny's never done that before in his life... I'm going to give Manny a bonus when he knocks his sparring partners down. I don't know that I can afford that but..." Roach said, to chuckles.
Manny offered a no comment when asked about the money judgment against Floyd Mayweather, for no-showing depositions for the defamation suit against "Money." He also said tax issues against him have been fully settled up in his homeland.
Roach said it'll be good to have Manny fully present, in LA, that there will be no jetlag, so camp should be stellar. Freddie said that yes, Manny's killer instinct has dropped off some, because he is compassionate, because of his religion, and a bit of aging. Freddie said he will work on that in the gym, get him to finish people like he used to. The trainer said he doesn't need to watch tape of JMM, that Manny needs to attack him. "We had four knockdowns, we want four more," he said. Manny said he can restore his killer instinct.
Pacquiao said "somewhere down the road" he and Bradley will tangle, but not yet. Arum told me he was "Switzerland" as far as who he though Manny should fight next, but acknowledged that Marquez does the best money. He also said Manny is signed through 2014, and that he hasn't heard about Pacquiao fighting twice, and then retiring. He'd like to see Manny end his career by knocking out Floyd Mayweather, he said.
Manny said he still loves to fight and please fans, and he still likes to train. His favorite part? "Winning," he said.
As for politics, he said he will run for Congress next year, and the Senate in 2016. Asked if fighting or politics was tougher, he said, "Boxing." In politics, he said he has to watch his back. He said he hasn't been following the Obama-Romney race, and went to zip his lips, offering a no comment. Back in May, Pacquiao got swept into controversy when a writer asked him about matters of sexual preference and referenced Obama's stances on that subject. This time, Pacquiao didn't go there.
He said before he retires, he wants to fight in the Philippines. He said he can see 100,000 people, in an open stadium, in his homeland, but he has yet to bring that up with Arum.
Pacquiao said he was surprised that Marquez was bigger than him last November. "There's no quit in Marquez, we know that, but if we keep putting him down, we hope he will stay there," Roach said. Roach said he thinks they need redemption from the last fight, because he heard boos. He said he actually wanted Mayweather first, and then a Bradley fight, to shut up the judges. "Bradley sold six tickets last time, that's why we're not fighting him, he does no business," Roach said of Bradley.
There were no harsh word or much in the way of trash talking. Marquez said he thought he won all three fights, and dedicated the fight to fans from the Philippines and Mexico and his country. Arum took a jab at politicians, in general, but said unlike the rest of them, Manny actually does something. Pacquiao at the mike said he wants to "make the fight as short as possible," and fight like a 25 year old Pacman. He also gave a nod to wife Jinkee, who was present.
My take: I think it is possible we do a see a KO, one way or the other, if Pacquiao truly does press for the stoppage. Either he'll catch Marquez, and act like the "old" Manny...or Marquez will take advantage of over-aggression, and catch Pacman. This one might surpass expectations, like Ward-Dawson did, people. Thoughts?
SPEEDBAG Roach said yes, he was being scapegoated in the Amir Khan situation, but he holds no hard feelings. He said he doesn't think Khan should hang up the gloves, thinks he can still excel, and wishes him well. He should probably stay away from punchers, but that will be hard at this level.
Who's the best Mexican boxer today?