Invisible elements, like desire, and will and confidence, help the supreme prizefighter get to the top of the heap, we heard in the finale of the HBO 24/7 Pacquiao-Marquez III mini-series.
First off, we saw a sunny Southern California, and Manny Pacquiao tooling down the streets to the Wildcard in his new Ferrari. He gives fight tix to his sparring partners. Pacman says he's happy and ready to fight at the tail-end of camp. He and trainer Freddie Roach do pads, and Roach says the fighter is ready for battle.
He's also ready for some glitz; Pacman appears on "Jimmy Kimmel" for the fifth time. Backstage, he meets singer Sammy Hagar, who compliments the boxer for being a good person. Manny then says he just got the song he'd be singing that very day, and seems a bit nervous about singing "How Deep Is Your Love" with the host. It seems to go OK. In Mexico City, we see Marquez during his final day of camp in Mexico. He says he's been happy with camp, the 60th of his career. The fighters' son show up and watch pop in action. "He looks really strong," older boy, a pre-teen, says.
"Everything will be OK, the little one says, mostly confident. JMM then goes to the airport to get a private flight to the US. Marquez says being with the boys has made him quite happy. Then, he is in LA, doing PR. At Santa Anita Park during the Breeder's Cup Saturday, Marquez speaks English, more than capably. He'll head to Las Vegas, and will be there Sunday. In Hollywood, Pacquiao has a light training session. Alex Ariza offers his garage as a place to house the Ferrari when Manny goes back to the Philippines. Freddie says he'd like see Manny notch a KO, to keep Marquez from whining about a bad decision.
The Pacman bus then drives to Vegas. This is the 12th headlining occasion for Pacman. He's staying at the Mandalay Bay. On Tuesday, Pacman is at the UNLV track for some cardio. Ariza, hired after Pacquiao-Marquez II, says this is the best version of Manny people have seen. He tells Manny to just get warm, don't overdo it. He tells the fighter to keep his hands up, knees up, stomach tight while he does some agility and speed drills. In Mexico, we see Marquez' trainer Nacho Beristain with Alfredo Angulo, about to fight James Kirkland. We all know how that went..He sent Kirkland down, then he went down. Beristain says Angulo thought he was the stronger man and forgot to defend.
"I always say somewhere in the world there's a fighter better than yours," he says.
Marquez is at the MGM Grand. JMM asks Nacho about the Angulo fight the night before. He said he told Fredo to pace himself but he went nuts and missed to many launches.
Angel Heredia, the steroid peddler turned fed informant, says he's happy to be in Vegas and part of Team Marquez. Marquez says he visualizes what he'll have to do in the fight. Marquez heads into the MGM lobby, and it's packed with fans. He says he feels nerves, but no pressure. Pacman is a rock star. Roach and Ariza say Manny loves the big stage.
"He absolutely loves it," Roach says. Manny will be grinning til the bell rings for round one, he says. In the Top Rank gym, Manny and Freddie go over tactics. Freddie says he doesn't sleep well right before the fight. He wonders if he dotted all i's. They have worked together for 24 fights. "I would die for Manny Pacquiao," he says. He says Manny will go down as the best fighter ever and he as the best coach, but Roach says he knows it's Manny's talent that means most. At the final presser, Marquez says he will savor this win. Manny says he wants to be remembered as a champ and good example. Marquez says he wants to give another great fight. Manny says he's praying for all the fighters to not get hurt. He wants the fans to love it.
Liev Schrieber offers an overview wrapup, talks about what it means to be a prizefighter. We see training, and cuts and interaction with kids and PR appearances, the whole gamut. All that is rear view mirror stuff; it is fight night, and soon we will learn who is the better man on Nov. 12, 2011 in the ring at the MGM.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV