Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum hosted an international media teleconference Tuesday for the big Pacquiao-Marquez 4 showdown on December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
BOB ARUM: The reports we are getting from the closed circuit exhibitors and the foreign broadcasters are very enthusiastic so we’re anticipating a tremendous event on December 8th. It will be a fight that will go into the annals of boxing history because these gentlemen that fought three previous times and over the course of the timeline, this fourth fight will be the best fight of all.
FREDDIE ROACH: We have a tough fight ahead of us. We know that Marquez in a great counter-puncher. We are working on things to defeat that counter-puncher style. Manny is looking great in training. I like what I see. He is where I want him to be right now. His focus is where it has not been for some time. He is very focused for this fight and I think it’s going to be the best fight yet.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Training camp has been going great. I have really been training hard for this fight.
Do you plan on going for the knockout in this fight?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Right now my mind is focused on being more aggressive for this fight. If there is a chance in the ring during the fight, why not make the fight easy (knock him out) if I have the opportunity?
FREDDIE ROACH: The thing is Marquez fought the fight at a slow pace the last time. We plan to fight the fight at a much faster pace this time like we did in the first fight in the early rounds – that’s where we had the most success. Going by all the tapes we have watched, we do our best when we are more aggressive. More hand speed. We are going to use a lot of that.
What do you think if the referee just would have stopped that first fight after the three first-round knockdowns?
FREDDIE ROACH: The thing is, the referee was very experienced and he made a good call. Now we are in the fourth fight, and Nacho Beristain is my big rival and we need a big win here.
Do you have any kind of relationship with Marquez outside of the ring?
MANNY PACQUIAO: No, we are just doing our job in the ring. We have a job to do, to do our best and make the people happy. I never hate my opponent outside of the ring. It is just my job to fight and there is nothing personal. I guess we are kind of friends because I look at all of my opponents as a friend.
Did the two of you sing a duet in Mexico?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, we did sing a song together at TV Azteca for a live show in Mexico City. I remember that I was more on key than he was.
Are you worried about Marquez being stronger?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Our strategy for this fight is to be more aggressive. Develop strength more and focus on speed. I am not worried about his strength.
FREDDIE ROACH: I don’t think it is a factor. I don’t think muscle-men have a better chin. If anything, I think if you put a lot of muscle he will be a little slower than he used to be and we are going to take advantage of that.
Do you feel extra pressure considering (recent losses during) the last couple fights?
FREDDIE ROACH: No, I just do the job the best I can to get Manny ready for this fight. I thought Manny won the last fight [against Timothy Bradley] 11 rounds to 1 so I don’t really consider that a loss. So it’s just business as usual.
MANNY PACQUIAO: NO.
If you can’t get Floyd Mayweather into the ring next year will you continue to fight?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, I will continue to fight through next year.
What is your motivation to fight Marquez?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am giving him a chance. I am giving him a chance to prove he can win the fight because he thought he has won all three and he keeps talking about it. So it is very important to me, to win this fight, especially since Marquez really wanted this fight.
What is the difference in the two of you between the first fight and now?
MANNY PACQUIAO: We are much more experienced now. But it is not harder because we know each other so well in the ring.
Will you be able to be as aggressive now as you were a few years ago?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Right now I am training with more aggression and more intensity in the ring and that is our focus right now.
How do you plan to be more aggressive?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, that’s why I train hard for this fight. More action, more condition in the ring, which I have been doing in all of training camp. I always train hard, but this time is a little harder. Harder and more punches, and some changes. We have been throwing more combinations, and changing our strategy – in movement. So it will be a little different than the last one.
Do you see a future fight against Cotto? Who will win Cotto vs. Trout?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, there is a chance. I think Cotto will win the fight. Not sure if by decision or knockout. Better chance for knockout but not sure.
What are the best attributes of Marquez?
He is a good counter-puncher. He is very patient and sits back and waits for action. If I waited for him to throw the punches first, the fight would be boring. That’s why I have always been the one to make the fight between us.
Why have these fights been so close?
BOB ARUM: They are close because they are close. There was controversy after the last fight and they are matched very well together. Both of them will be looking for different strategies this time so that the winner will be more conclusive. That’s what they are saying – each of them will be more aggressive and each of them will be taking the fight to the other. That may be a disadvantage for Juan Manuel whose biggest advantage is counter-punching but he’s going to be a lot more aggressive as well.
Can you envision a fifth fight?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine a fourth one.
BOB ARUM: There is a possibility. Not likely but a possibility. Robinson and LaMotta fought 6 times.
Is there any strategy you want to change from the last three fights?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I will try not to fight as slow at the end of this fight as I did in the last three fights. That is my focus now. I want to finish stronger in this fight.
Do you feel added pressure to be better than the last couple of fights?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t feel any extra pressure for this fight. I chose to fight him.
Juan Manuel is nervous about the judges…
MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t have any say in the judges. I don’t pick the judges. I am an athlete and train hard to fight well in the ring. Selecting the referee and the judges is the job of the commission.
BOB ARUM: I am certain that we will see a fight that is different from the other three.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I want to say thank you to all the fans and hope that you watch the fight on December 8 between Juan Manuel Marquez and me and it’s going to be a good fight in the ring.