AP Filipino boxing icon and Congressman Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao
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LOS ANGELES >> Manny Pacquiao’s road to stardom was established by power punching and a pair of compelling back-and-forth bouts against his rival from Mexico, Juan Manuel Marquez.
As Pacquiao prepares for his third fight against Marquez on Nov. 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Filipino star’s attention is locked on the goal to reaffirm his power reputation by quieting Marquez once and for all.
“Everybody knows Marquez has been talking too much,” Pacquiao said Wednesday as he and Marquez continued their international promotional tour at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “If my opponent is no good, I will be no good in the ring. You know what I mean? My opponent is not a good boy.
“What I think about is, ’How can I shut the mouth?’ “
Pacquiao knocked Marquez down three times in the first round of their 2004 featherweight title fight, but Marquez rallied to claim a draw. In 2008, Pacquiao won a super-featherweight title by split decision thanks to judge Tom Miller’s 114-113 score.
Marquez’s trainer, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, complained so much at the post-fight news conference after the 2008 loss that Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, grabbed a microphone and unloaded epithets at the trainer.
Marquez later visited the Philippines wearing a T-shirt reading “We were robbed.”
Pacquiao’s kindhearted nature is part of his charm. He’s a congressman in the Philippines who has successfully pushed for a new hospital to be constructed in his district and often takes up charitable ventures.
He showed compassion in the final rounds against badly beaten foe Antonio Margarito last year, and he also failed to put away Shane Mosley in a one-sided fight in May — Pacquiao’s third consecutive unanimous decision as he improved to 53-3-2.
But Pacquiao became boxing’s most popular star by scoring 10 knockouts and retiring Oscar De La Hoya in a span of 16 fights between 2003 and 2009.
Now, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.
“He let (Margarito and Mosley) off the hook. In this fight, that’s not going to happen,” Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said of Marquez.
The Pacquiao-Marquez bout will be for the WBO welterweight title to be fought at a 144-pound catch weight.
“This fight is more personal,” Roach said. “Those (prior two Marquez) fights were good for boxing.
It wasn’t our fault the judges voted for us. But when Marquez came to the Philippines with those T-shirts … it was a slap in the face to Manny. He will get his payback.”
Arum was seen shaking hands with and briefly embracing Beristain on Wednesday, but the promoter notes Pacquiao is less forgiving of his old foe.
“Manny usually waits until the last minute to start his eight weeks of training,” Arum said. “For this fight, he’s already started. He’s dying to win this decisively. He’s a competitor, and on a competitive basis, he’s tired of hearing Marquez is the puzzle he can’t solve.”
The 38-year-old Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) expects to rely on his counterpunching strength to again frustrate the aggressive Pacquiao.
“I will see the best Manny Pacquiao, that’s what I’m waiting for,” said Marquez. “Everybody knows I wanted this fight. I didn’t win before because the judges were no good.”