JUAN Manuel Marquez has definitely gotten bigger with the added muscles he gained in training camp for his fourth meeting with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
And for those who are in doubt, the 39-year-old Mexican warrior declared himself available for drug testing anytime, anywhere.
“I’m willing to give myself to any anti-doping tests. Why don’t Manny Pacquiao and I both do it? I don’t care. To shut everybody up. And of course, my exams have always been clear,” said Marquez in an interview with The Ring, the so-called Bible of Boxing.
Marquez, who finally arrived in Los Angeles with his entourage led by trainer Ignacio Beristain, had to address the issue about doping after bulked-up frame drew notice when he opened the door to his training camp in Mexico ahead of his December 8 (December 9, Manila time) showdown with his longtime Filipino rival.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, was obviously surprised when he saw a series of photos showing Marquez bulging with muscles. While it hardly concerned him, the 52-year-old Hall of Famer suggested there may be more into it than meets the eye.
“If (his body) is natural, I will kiss his ass,” said Roach in an interview published by USA Today. “Marquez has gotten bigger and gained weight – it throws up a red flag. I’ve been accused so many times of my fighters being on steroids (that) I hate to accuse other people. But it is part of our life, part of the world we live in.”
Marquez however, was quick to deny the allegations.
He said the change in his appearance had something to do with the work he was made to do by his strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia.
The controversial strength coach does ring a bell for his involvement in performance-enhancing activities, having once testified in court of supplying track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery with illegal substances.
But Marquez clarified his system is free of illegal drugs, adding Heredia had been working on his strength conditioning since his third fight with Pacquiao last year.
"What you need to notice is that in the last fight with Manny Pacquiao, that was my first time with Angel Heredia after 18 years of doing the same thing. This time, I've been accumulating everything. This time, I will do more with more speed, because November was our first time together” said Marquez.
Having finally adjusted to the system of Heredia allowed Marquez’s body to bulk up and gain muscles.
"First of all, I would like to tell you that I have never done this type of work before in 18 years," added the Mexican. “That’s why my body has changed. I've been working very hard. And, specifically, it has helped me gain a lot more strength."
Marquez also came to Heredia’s defense, stressing he has definitely improved and gained more confidence working with him, which he believes will be the key in finally beating the heck out of the `Pacman.’
“[Hernandez] is a professional, and he knows how many weights to put on every time I'm working out. Of course, I'm getting more strength and I'm getting stronger and everything.
“I'm working perfectly on the speed and at getting stronger. They're going to get a surprise on December 8,” he said.