LOS ANGELES, Nov 21, 2012 (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao says Juan Manuel Marquez won’t be able to out run him because he plans to fight at a faster pace when the two veteran boxers clash for the fourth time on December 8 in Las Vegas.
“He is a good counter-puncher,” Pacquiao said of Marquez. “He is very patient and sits back and waits for action.
“If I waited for him to throw the punches first, the fight would be boring. That’s why I have always been the one to make the fight between us.”
Pacquiao, a former eight division world champion, is making big changes to both his preparations and his sparring for the non-title fight at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
“I will try not to fight as slow at the end of this fight as I did in the last three fights,” Pacquiao said. “That is my focus now. I want to finish stronger in this fight.”
The 33-year-old Pacquiao defeated Marquez in a majority decision last year—a third gut-wrenching result for Marquez against his Filipino foe.
In the build-up to that fight, Marquez had taunted Pacquiao with claims that he was the true winner of their first two bouts—a 2004 draw and a 2008 rematch.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said they are looking at ways to break through Marquez’s skilled defence.
“We have a tough fight ahead of us,” Roach said. “We know that Marquez is a great counter puncher. We are working on things to defeat that counter-puncher style.
“Manny is looking great in training. I like what I see. He is where I want him to be right now. His focus is where it has not been for some time. He is very focused for this fight and I think it’s going to be the best fight yet.
“The thing is Marquez fought the fight at a slow pace the last time. We plan to fight the fight at a much faster pace this time like we did in the first fight in the early rounds. That’s where we had the most success.
“Going by all the tapes we have watched, we do our best when we are more aggressive. More hand speed. We are going to use a lot of that.”
Pacquiao says if the opportunity for a knockout is there he will go for it.
“Right now my mind is focused on being more aggressive for this fight,” Pacquiao said. “If there is a chance in the ring during the fight, why not make the fight easy.”
Pacquiao plans another fight in April before running unopposed for his congressional seat in the Philippines. He hasn’t given up on a potential mega fight with Floyd Mayweather but said Miguel Cotto could also be an upcoming opponent.
Promoter Bob Arum said this fight will give boxing fans a clear picture of who is the better fighter.
“There was controversy after the last fight and they are matched very well together,” Arum said.
“Both of them will be looking for different strategies this time so that the winner will be more conclusive.
“Each of them will be more aggressive and each of them will be taking the fight to the other. That may be a disadvantage for Juan Manuel whose biggest advantage is counter-punching but he’s going to be a lot more aggressive as well.”