LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez wage another war set for 12 rounds to once again prove who’s better.
Three days before their fight, both are already claiming they’re the one.
“I know he trained hard for this fight because he needs to prove something. And I’m ready for that,” said Pacquiao, wearing an all-white suit, at the podium as he spoke during the final press conference for his fourth meeting with Marquez on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
The bout is set Saturday at the MGM Grand.
This being the fourth time he will be meeting his old rival, Marquez, 39, said he expects the same action-packed fight that typified the first three matches, which until now, the Mexican believes he did win.
“Manny Pacquiao knows me, and I know him. This is going to be another war,” Marquez said when it was his turn to speak on stage.
All three fights ended in controversial fashion.
The first in 2004 was a draw even though Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round.
Their rematch in 2008 was a split decision in favor of the Filipino boxing star, while their last fight in 2001 was a majority decision, also for Pacquiao.
“I feel good, I feel great. I just don’t know what happened in the last fight,” said Marquez, a four-time world champion known as one of the best counter-punchers in boxing history, referring to their meeting last year that had a highly-debatable outcome.
That’s why Pacquiao challenges Marquez to go toe-to-toe with him at the center of the ring to see who’s really tougher between them.
“I’m hoping that there will be more action in the ring so that there will be no more doubts in the mind of the people,” said the only boxer to win eight world titles in as many divisions.
Whatever happens, Nacho Beristain, the trainer of Marquez since he was 12 years old, believes boxing fans are in for a big treat this weekend, saying, “the two best pound-for-pound fighters are going to face each other."
“It’s going to be a tough fight. There’s a lot of class in this fight,” said the 68-year-old Mexican, who will be in his 62nd fight with Marquez.
Freddie Roach, the legendary trainer of Pacquiao, readily agreed.
“I love this rivalry. The winner of this fourth fight will take the icing on the cake.”