LAS VEGAS, USA, December 7 – Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez says people keep telling him he beat Manny Pacquiao in their three previous fights, but he is not going to rest until the referee raises his hand in the centre of the ring.
Marquez lost a controversial decision to Pacquiao 13 months ago. He lost a tight split decision in 2008 and they fought to a draw in their first fight in 2004.
Organizers have decided to use Kenny Bayless as the referee who will be in the ring with the two fighters. The three judges, John Keane, Steve Weisfeld and Adalaide Byrd, were not part of any of the three previous bouts.
“The only thing I am asking for them is to be fair and for them to qualify what is happening in the ring,” Marquez says. “It is a great selection of judges. They are very professional.”
When Filipino southpaw Pacquiao and Marquez enter the ring Saturday for their non-title welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Hotel it will be the fourth time in eight years they have fought.
Neither one goes out of his way to antagonize the other but they aren’t chummy.
“We are both professionals,” Marquez said. “I don’t think there is any hate there. There’s a rivalry but it is professional.
“Looking back on the last three fights, I know I can compete with him and beat him. I’ve prepared myself better than I ever have.”
The undercard will feature one title fight, a 12-round IBF lightweight bout between Mercito Gesta of the Philippines and Mexican Miguel Vazquez.
Gesta, who has 26 wins and no losses, is fighting for his first championship belt.
Gesta’s father, Anecito, 49, is a former Muay Thai champion in the Philippines and also serves as a sparring partner for his son.
Former world featherweight champ Yuriorkis Gamboa is also on the undercard, fighting Filipino Michael Farenas in a junior lightweight bout.