LOS ANGELES, California, September 8 – Manny Pacquiao says he is through making friends with opponents in the build up to his championship bouts and vows to take a hard-line approach in his next fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
The 32-year-old Filipino boxing champion has decisively won his last three fights but failed to score knockouts over Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey.
“If my opponent is nice and friendly to me then that carries over into the fight,” Pacquiao said Wednesday. “Then I am not eager to finish the fight.”
The Filipino southpaw has vowed not to go easy when he puts his World Boxing Organization welterweight title on the line against Mexico’s Marquez on November 12 in Las Vegas.
“Before Marquez was saying bad things about me. Now he is saying good things about me,” said Pacquiao (53-3, 2 draws, 38 KOs).
In a sport that thrives on hype to sell tickets, staredowns and angry exchanges are usually common when two fighters get together to promote the fight. But that’s not been the case with nice-guy Pacquiao.
Mosley and Clottey were able to disarm Pacquiao with plenty of compliments and talk of how grateful they were the champion was giving them an opportunity to fight for a title, not to mention millions of dollars.
Margarito mocked and insulted Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach but stayed away from firing verbal jabs aimed specifically at Pacquiao.
The 144-pound bout will mark the third time Pacquiao and Marquez have tangled. Both previous fights were close with just one round separating the two. The judges’ scored the first bout a draw and Pacquiao was awarded a split decision in the rematch. Marquez insists he won both fights.
“I am thinking how can I shut this guy’s mouth,” Pacquiao said at a news conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
One boxer “Pacman” Pacquiao says he would have no trouble getting motivated to knock out is undefeated American Floyd Mayweather.
“If that fight happens it would be a fight like there is no tomorrow,” Pacquiao said with a wink.
Previous fight talks between the two broke down over how drug testing would be conducted. Mayweather angered Pacquiao by accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
“I haven’t taken any drugs in boxing,” Pacquiao said Wednesday. “I don’t even know what he (Mayweather) is talking about. I don’t know what testosterone is. I don’t have any idea what he is talking about. He doesn’t want to fight.”
The Marquez bout will be a change from Pacquiao’s previous fights where he moved up in weight class to fight bigger, stronger boxers. Pacquiao says this time he will be in his comfort zone and isn’t afraid of getting hit by a smaller fighter.
“For this fight I don’t have to worry about weight and size,” Pacquiao said. “I won’t have to worry so much about the punches that I am taking in the ring because bigger guys punch harder.”
Marquez is no shrinking violet. He captured his first world title in 2003 and has won belts in three different weight classes. He has recorded victories over Marco Antonio Barrera and Joel Casamayor but lost a 12-round decision to Mayweather in September 2009 in Las Vegas.
“This is the biggest fight for me because Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter,” Marquez said. “Clottey didn’t want to fight and Mosley was the same. But if Pacquiao wants to fight I will give him a fight.”
Pacquiao and Marquez have been on a whirlwind tour across the ocean to promote the fight. They were in New York on Tuesday and the Philippines before that where 100,000 people came out to cheer Filipino congressman Pacquiao.
The tour finishes in Mexico City Thursday where thousands of Marquez fans will get a chance to see their hero.
“The Philippines, New York and now here. I don’t even know what time it is,” said Marquez (53-5, 1 draw, 39 KOs).
Marquez is another in a long line of current and former Mexican champions Pacquiao has defeated in recent years. Pacquiao said he doesn’t have a scorched-earth policy against Mexican fighters but is just trying to find the best opponents out there.
“I am just doing my job in the ring. It is not my intention to fight all the Mexican fighters.”