Manny, JuanMa vow: 'This will be the last'
LAS VEGAS – Perhaps the only thing Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez could agree on so close to the fight is that this should be their last.
There’s not going to be a fifth one or a sixth or a seventh.
On Saturday, the two fighters will try to finish each other off, and put an end to a rivalry guaranteed to go down in history as one of the great ones.
Pacquiao, turning 34 on Dec. 17, and Marquez, who turned 39 last Aug. 23, have fought three times, each one of them as close, as controversial as the other.
If they fight a couple more times after this one, it should be a fight for all senior citizens.
Pacquiao and Marquez were formally welcomed at the MGM Tuesday. One after the other, they sat down with the press at the hotel’s VIP Lounge.
They have no plans matching or surpassing the six fights recorded between Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta from 1942 to 1951.
“I don’t think so,” said the Mexican who must have a couple more layers of clothing under his hooded Team Marquez jacket.
He must be tired of seeing Pacquiao in the opposite corner following their draw in 2004 and two razor-thin decisions in 2008 and 2011.
Pacquiao won both decisions even if Marquez thinks he deserved them more.
“Maybe this is the last. I don’t know what will happen inside the ring. But maybe this is our last time,” said the fighter who is always a good punch away from beating Pacquiao.
Marquez was first to meet the press. He came with his life-long trainer, 72-year-old Nacho Beristain, strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez and a few others.
Hernandez spent a lot of time warding off questions about illegal performance-enhancing drugs or PEDs.
“If you want to talk about that we can talk about that the whole day,” said Marquez.
Beristain also disagreed with reporters who say all three fights between Pacquiao and Marquez were the same.
“Every fight has been different. Those three fights were not the same,” he said.
Then he promised to provide a different result this time because, “We will go for it.”
Pacquiao arrived with his coach Freddie Roach and an entourage as big and as a football team, and stayed there for around 30 minutes.
He faced the same question whether he’s willing to fight Marquez again.
“I think this is the last fight with him,” he said.
Pacquiao was short with his answers and Roach was there for the extra push.
“We will knock him (Marquez) out– end of the story,” he said.
And soon the interview was over.