LAS VEGAS – Beating Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time will not only put an emphatic end to Manny Pacquiao’s domination of their unforgettable ring rivalry.
It likewise serves as a fitting birthday gift for the Philippine boxing icon.
“Oo, magandang pa-birthday ang panalo sa akin,” the 33-year-old Pacquiao told Spin.ph during his formal arrival at the MGM Grand Tuesday on (Wednesday Manila time) leading to his 12-round duel with Marquez this weekend.
Pacquiao turns another leaf on December 17, which he plans to spend with a festive celebration in his native General Santos City.
That’s why he has extra motivation when he faces Marquez again a year after pulling off a highly-debatable majority decision in their third meeting.
More than ever, Pacquiao said he’s been focused for this fight after absorbing a controversial split decision against Timothy Bradley to yield his World Boxing Organization welterweight title belt in his last fight.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, couldn't agree more.
“Manny had a great training camp. We haven’t knocked down guys in camp since the (Miguel) Cotto fight. Manny’s got a good fire under him when he’s focused and he’s doing well,” said Roach.