x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pacquiao ready for Marquez

The Mexican boxer claims to have won the previous two fights, but the WBO welterweight champion says the verdict will be clear when they meet in Las Vegas on November 12.

Manny Pacquiao, left, trains for his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at a gym in Manila on Saturday.
Manny Pacquiao, left, trains for his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at a gym in Manila on Saturday.

MANILA // Manny Pacquiao has vowed to remove any doubt about his superiority over Juan Manuel Marquez, the Mexican challenger, when the pair meet for the third time in November.

Marquez claims to have won the previous two fights, which ended in a draw in 2004 and a split-decision win for Pacquiao in 2008.

Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight champion, said on Saturday that the 37-year-old Marquez has no chance of beating him when they meet again on November 12 in Las Vegas.

"I won't let that happen," Pacquiao said. "And I have to train hard for this fight and to give my best and to give a good show.

"This is the fight that will answer all the questions."

If Marquez does not accept the result this time, Pacquiao said he would "just challenge him to a basketball game".

Pacquiao and Marquez faced thousands of fans in Manila, the Philippines capital, on Saturday to promote the fight.

They appeared first at a news conference at a hotel before moving on to Manila's Rizal Park Grandstand where they raised their right hands and took an oath of "a true sportsman" in front of about 3,000 cheering fans, partly drawn in by Pacquiao's television game show, Manny Many Prizes later Saturday night.

Bob Arum, the fight promoter, said less than 50 of the 16,000 seats for the fight at the MGM Grand were still available and he expected the pay-per-view sales to exceed the 1.4 million for Pacquiao's last fight against Sugar Shane Mosley in May.

Four years on from their last fight - which was at super featherweight - Marquez is expecting a different challenge this time around.

"This is a different fight, because he changed," he said. "He's working with two hands. He uses the right hand."

He said he would "take care inside the ring", noting that Pacquiao had improved his speed.

Marquez is generally considered Mexico's top boxer. He decisively won a rematch with Juan Diaz in July 2010 in his first fight since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr the previous year.

Pacquiao acknowledged Marquez as a "really strong fighter".

The experienced Mexican said the fight "is very important to me".

"I trained very hard for this fight," he said. "I am looking very hard for victory for my fans in Mexico, for my fans around the world, for my fans here in the Philippines."