View Full Version : Pac-Marquez II Press

12-01-2007, 01:02 PM
Pacquiao wants Marquez's title

Manny Pacquiao defeated Marco Antonio Barrera by unanimous decision on Oct. 6 in his last bout, a 12-round super featherweight fight.
The fighter from the Philippines looks to fill gap in his resume with the March 15 super-featherweight title bout.

By Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Even without a major world title belt in his possession, Manny Pacquiao is still one of the first boxers mentioned in the rankings of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Now, in agreeing to a March 15 rematch against Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez, the popular fighter from the Philippines will have the opportunity to take Marquez's World Boxing Council super-featherweight title.

"I told Manny that 20 years from now they're never going to be able to say you won a championship," Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, said.

"It won't put another dime in his pocket," Arum added, in reference to paying for the title sanctioning fees, "but Manny said he agreed with me, that the belt is the best thing for his future legend."

In a bout to be fought at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 knockouts) will attempt to hand another Mexican fighter a defeat on the heels of his second victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in October (by decision), and last year's pair of triumphs over Erik Morales by knockout and technical knockout.

"I'm champion, and wasn't happy that he was allowed to dictate so many of the details about wanting to earn more money in this fight," Marquez said. "But this is the fight I always wanted. I want to prove he's not the Mexican killer he says he is."

Marquez (48-3-1, 35 KOs) overcame three first-round knockdowns at the hands of Pacquiao in their May 2004 bout in Las Vegas, rallying to gain a draw in an entertaining battle.

"It'll be a great fight, a war," Marquez said. "I expect to be taking and giving punches, and it'll be won by who's in the better condition, who makes less mistakes, and who's smarter."

Marquez won the title by defeating Barrera in a unanimous decision in March. He has defended the belt once, winning a lopsided unanimous decision over Rocky Juarez in Tucson on Nov. 3.

Pacquiao complained of sickness in making 130 pounds for the Barrera fight, but Arum said Pacquiao will obey a stricter diet and training regimen this time, spending two months before the fight training with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles rather than doing the bulk of the training in his native country as he did last time.

01-02-2008, 05:44 PM
Arum sees a big 2008 for Pacquiao and Cotto

By Robert Morales

The New Year had just started and promoter Bob Arum was already having a happy one. Speaking by telephone from Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on Tuesday, Arum was thrilled that his recently concluded trip to the Philippines ended up bearing fruit. Arum may have been there to help Manny Pacquiao celebrate his 29th birthday, which fell on Dec. 17, but Arum admittedly had an ulterior motive when he accepted Pacquiao's invitation.

Not that Arum wouldn't have gone anyway if everything was good. But since everything wasn't, Arum wasn't going to pass on the opportunity to make it all good.

“The main purpose was because he asked me to come and celebrate his birthday,” Arum said. “And I knew that Freddie (Roach) was going as well so we used that visit to convince Manny to train for two months at the Wild Card Gym (in Hollywood).”

Pacquiao will take on Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. They will tangle for Marquez's world super featherweight championship. It is a rematch of their May 2004 fight that ended in a draw after Marquez got up from three first-round knockdowns.

Pacquiao did the bulk of his training for his October rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera in his native Philippines. Pacquiao won the fight, but he never hurt Barrera the way he hurt him in their first fight in November 2003, when Pacquiao stopped Barrera in the 11th round. Pacquiao training in the Philippines also did not help Arum do his job as his promoter.

“We both came from different positions,” Arum said of he and Roach, Pacquiao's trainer. “Freddie's, of course, (was) that spending two months at the Wild Card would condition (Manny) best, get him ready best for Marquez. And mine, the advantage of him being (in the states) for two months gives us the opportunity to promote him to a wider audience than just to Mexicans and Filipinos because we've been hampered by his coming over (to the U.S.) the week before the fight.”

Arum said that this rematch with Marquez is already looming large in the eyes of the boxing public. He said it was therefore imperative that Pacquiao train at Wild Card. And he will.

“I didn't look at this fight as anything more special than the (Erik) Morales or Barrera fights, but it's created a tremendous buzz with the Mexicans down here in Mexico now and that's all they're talking about is that fight. I will have a lot of opportunities to do a lot of promotions with Manny that aren't just Filipino- and Mexican-motivated. I'm going to have him on a lot of shows just so more people know who he is.”

Bill Caplan, Arum's longtime publicist, was the third man on the line Tuesday. He informed Arum that “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” was going to go back on the air without striking writers and that he is going to see about getting Pacquiao on that show. Arum said that Pacquiao is a talented singer who likes doing Beatles songs and that a gig like that would be quite a coup.

There doesn't seem to be much love lost between Pacquiao and Marquez, especially on the part of Marquez, who has been saying he is going to knock out Pacquiao. So Arum wants to take full promotional advantage of everything this fight has to offer.

“I can sense how huge this fight is becoming,” Arum said. “We've been in the 350- to 400,000 pay-per-view buys range for his (Pacquiao's) fights and we're looking to do 500,000 buys on this fight.”

There was something else on Arum's mind Tuesday as he rang in the New Year down in ol' Mexico. What is going to happen next for his welterweight champion, Miguel Cotto? The possibilities are endless for the Puerto Rican superstar, but the fight that should happen probably won't – a title unification with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The other marquee name out there that would bring both Arum and Cotto loads of money would be Oscar De La Hoya, who is supposed to make his decision on his next opponent any day now.

“We're going to wait another few days,” Arum said. “Oscar's wife (Millie) had another baby, so we're waiting on Oscar. If Oscar is going to fight, he's going to have to make it known in the next few days.”

A Cotto-De La Hoya fight would take place in May. Arum said if it's not De La Hoya, then Cotto would fight in either March or April and then take on former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito in June or July. The fight in March or April could be against one of three fighters – Alfonso Gomez, champion Kermit Cintron or highly ranked Joshua Clottey.

“We're not looking to do gimmie fights at this time,” Arum said. “Gimmie fights are bad for the public.”

01-16-2008, 04:13 PM
Saint Manny in for a tough fight with Marquez

By Robert Morales

Promoter Bob Arum practically anointed Manny Pacquiao a saint during Tuesday’s news conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel formally announcing Pacquiao’s rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15 in Las Vegas.

“Manny lives in a beautiful house in General Santos City in the Philippines and the people come every day for a little support, for money, for food, and Manny doesn't refuse anybody,” Arum said as he stood on the dais inside the Rodeo Room. “He is a welfare system in and of itself in the Philippines. He's such a charming, wonderful, caring young man.

“And I’ve had great fighters and great people that I’ve promoted. Muhammad Ali. How can you top that? Marvin Hagler, Alexis Arguello, Ray Mancini. … People who cared and gave back to their communities. But I've never seen anything like Manny Pacquiao have the care, have the concern, that he has. The people, the way he gives back to the community. As great a fighter as he is in the ring – and make no mistake, he's a great fighter – he is even a better person.”

A little maudlin, but Arum is probably right about everything he said. By all accounts, Pacquiao is a giving person who cares deeply for those in his native Philippines, especially those stricken by poverty. And there is a lot of that there.

But being sincere and generous is not going to help Pacquiao one bit when he again steps into the ring with Marquez in two months. In their first fight, in May 2004, Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the first round. Marquez amazingly survived the round and put on a counterpunching clinic the next 11 rounds to earn a draw.

Last week in Los Angeles, Arum was asked straight out if, as Pacquiao’s promoter, he is concerned about this rematch considering what transpired the first time around.

“Yes,” Arum said. “I think it's a very, very tough fight. But I like Manny's chances because I think he's fresher and he's improved from the time they last fought. But Marquez's style is very difficult. No question about it.”

No question, indeed. About 10 minutes before Tuesday’s news conference began, we flagged down Freddie Roach to get his feelings on the subject. Is he, too, concerned about getting past Marquez, one of the game’s best counterpunchers?

“Yeah, of course,” said Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. “Marquez is a counterpuncher and counterpunchers love guys that come forward. Manny had a very successful first round, of course, but he kind of got stuck in a mode and didn't really follow the game plan. He just kept trying to land the left hand and you need more than one hand to beat a guy like this.”

Roach said that, interestingly, Marquez has recently altered his style and become more aggressive so he can be a more marketable fighter. But Roach said he expects trainer Nacho Beristain will have Marquez back in complete counterpunching mode.

“Because they think that we're going to press the action,” Roach said. “And we will press the action in this fight, but we'll be a little bit smarter this time.”

Most experts believe that Pacquiao has become a better boxer since the first fight nearly four years ago, and Roach certainly agrees. But he said he has to make sure that Pacquiao – known as a vicious, attacking fighter – doesn’t become too much of a boxer.

“We're going to have to use that somewhat in this fight,” Roach said of Pacquiao’s improved technical skills, “but then, I don't want to take away his action style because some fans, they complained about the (second Marco Antonio) Barrera fight. They wanted the old Manny Pacquiao back. But the thing is it's not about how you fight, it's about winning. And the thing is to beat a guy like this, a counterpuncher, you've gotta make some adjustments. That's why this is going to be a little bit of a chess match. But when we need to be aggressive, we will be. It's all about being aggressive at the right time.”

Blaming Roach or Pacquiao for the rematch with Barrera last October going the distance – Pacquiao won – is not fair. Pacquiao did box a bit more than usual, but that’s all Barrera was giving him. Barrera took few chances in that fight because he didn’t want to get stopped again, like he was in the 11th round of their first fight in 2003. It was going to be very difficult for Pacquiao to knock out Barrera in the rematch because of Barrera’s approach.

The combatants had a few words during their respective turns on the dais. Pacquiao said he was astounded that Marquez got through that first round.

“I have to win this fight because we have a lot of plans this year to have some more big fights,” Pacquiao said. “And also I don’t want to underestimate my opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, because in the first fight I was surprised because I felt it was over when I knocked him down three times in the first round.”

Marquez, meanwhile, came off as being somewhat perplexed at what people are saying about Pacquiao because of his 2-1 record against Erik Morales and 2-0 record against Barrera. They are Marquez’s Mexican countrymen.

“I don’t know why many people think that Manny Pacquiao is a Mexican killer,” Marquez said. “I don’t think so. He couldn't beat me. And on the 15th (of March), I will demonstrate who's better. This fight is for my country, for my fans, for the Mexican people.”

Therein lies what could be one of the deciding factors here – pride. Arum, whose Top Rank Inc. is co-promoting this fight along with Golden Boy Promotions – perhaps hit the nail on the head in this regard.

“As far as Juan Manuel Marquez is concerned, he is the last Mexican standing,” Arum said. “Manny has defeated Erik Morales, he's defeated Marco Antonio Barrera. But he hasn't defeated Juan Manuel Marquez.

“As far as Manny is concerned, it's hard for you people to realize unless you come to the Philippines, like Freddie and I have, to see the type of feeling that the Filipino people have for this young man. So therefore, with that type of feeling, the responsibility of representing a country is on his shoulders.”

Pacquiao, 29, is 45-3-2 with 35 knockouts. Marquez, 34, is 48-3-1 with 35 knockouts The super featherweight title fight, from Mandalay Bay, will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

Robert Morales can be reached at rmorales@15rounds.com

03-13-2008, 06:47 PM
Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez: The Stakes

By Cliff Rold - Pride is always at stake in boxing. Fighters run miles, spar hours, sweat away pieces of themselves, to protect their pride. There’s little pride to be found in defeat and so the best of professionals give themselves the best chance to avoid it. Anyone tuning in on Saturday night to see the four-years overdue rematch, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez can be certain: these are the best of professionals.

There are other stakes as well this weekend, stakes that will matter immediately and stakes that will matter later. As these two warriors paint the ring canvas with the fresh blood of combat, they will also take a big step towards painting the canvas of their legacies.

It’s that kind of fight.

So just what are the stakes, the questions, hovering above the action this weekend? Let’s begin with the immediate and work forward from there.

The World Championship: The primary stake on Saturday night is the vacant World Jr. Lightweight championship. When Floyd Mayweather Jr. left the 130 lb. class behind in 2002, he left a void at the top of the division that has been filled with some excellent battles to replace him. It’s taken this long to whittle the field down to these two. The Mexican Marquez (48-3-1, 35 KO, WBC titlist) by virtue of his victory last fall against Marco Antonio Barrera, and the Filipino Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KO) by virtue of two wins over Erik Morales and a rematch victory against Barrera last fall, have emerged as the consensus choices at one and two in the division. Ring Magazine will reward their title to the winner of this bout and it’s unlikely that anyone (excepting the consensus choice at three, Joan Guzman) will lodge much disagreement.

Read the Rest at: http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=13064

03-19-2008, 08:41 AM
Team Marquez has no leg to stand on in argument

By Robert Morales

It's a crying shame that two recent fights that could compete for Fight of the Year are being tarnished by controversy when there really is none.

The latest episode was played out in Saturday's post-fight news conference when Juan Manuel Marquez and the rest of his camp vehemently complained about losing a split decision to Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao took Marquez's super featherweight world title at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

It really hurts boxing when the loser whines about what the judges as well as every veteran reporter thought was a close fight, regardless of who they had winning.

It's worse when innuendo is doled out by the losing promoter. Such was the case when Richard Schaefer, CEO of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, told a packed room of reporters and friends and family of the two fighters that he wondered why one of the judges had been changed a week before the fight. Schaefer made it a point to say that judge scored the fight for Pacquiao.

Turned out Dick Flaherty was replaced by Tom Miller. Not because of any funny business. Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, informed us that Flaherty is a friend of Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, as well as a friend of Roach's mother. It was Roach who told Arum about the conflict of interest and Arum said he told the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Thus Flaherty's move to the semi-main event between Steven Luevano and Terdsak Jandaeng.

"Freddie Roach is a damn honest man," Arum said in the heat of Saturday's late-night post-fight rhubarb, which included a shouting match between Arum and Jaime Quintana, Marquez's Mexican promoter.

There was nothing rotten in Denmark in this fight. Not in any way, shape or form. Bottom line is, Pacquiao won a very close fight. Marquez lost one. Period.

Ironically, Marquez stood at the dais and said he thought something was wrong with boxing. It was incredible. He was in an extremely close fight that could have gone either way. The way he was talking, one would have thought he had just knocked the holy heck out of Pacquiao.

Something's wrong in boxing, all right, and this needless bellyaching is it.

Now, in one way it is understandable that Marquez was filled with emotion. After all, he had a draw and a loss to show for two terrific performances against the man most reporters consider no worse than the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

But Marquez's manager and trainer, Nacho Beristain, and Quintana have made a habit out of moaning about close fights. They are the twosome who also handle Marquez's younger brother, Rafael. He lost a narrow decision in a thriller against Israel Vazquez on March 1 in Carson, Calif., and they had their crybaby hats on after that one, too.

It was particularly disappointing to see Schaefer go on like he did late Saturday night. The Golden Boy hierarchy has gone on record many times as saying it wants to change boxing, that it wants to do things the right way. This is, after all, a sport that has always been suspect as far as being above board, even if its nefarious ways have been exaggerated.
When Golden Boy executives say they want to be a stand-up organization, we believe they are genuine. But for Schaefer to support another crying jag by the Marquez family was not cool and it only gives more ammunition to those fans who believe the sport is corrupt.

If this had been say, Steve Forbes against Demetrius Hopkins, then there would be something to snivel about. Hopkins was scored a wide-decision winner in a fight he obviously lost big in March 2007 at Mandalay Bay.

By the way, Golden Boy Promotions did that fight. It promotes Hopkins, nephew of Bernard Hopkins. But we don't think for one second that Golden Boy had anything to do with one of the worst decisions in recent times. And no one has gone around suggesting that.
And again, that decision was egregious.

Saturday's was not. Schaefer should have extinguished the situation, yet he fueled the fire.
This is one of the things wrong with boxing. But it's easily fixed if those who are supposed to have the cooler heads - meaning promoters rather than the fighters who just went through 12 rounds of hell - will just accept it when a close decision does not go their way.

One more time. There is no controversy when a fight is close.

Hopefully, people are listening.

Arum is no angel. He has done his share of grumbling after close fights that did not pan out for him and his Top Rank Inc. He admitted as much Saturday night.

It'll be very interesting to see what takes place the next time Arum is on the short end of the stick in a high-profile fight. Considering what took place Saturday, something tells us he will go to great pains to be cool. Schaefer, too.

If they think twice before going off, that will be a good thing.

Robert Morales can be reached at rmorales@15rounds.com