Manny Pacquiao looks back on his third fight last year against Juan Manuel Marquez, saying that even though he underestimated his rival, he felt he won the fight, and didn’t expect a fourth bout with the Mexican star.
“When we decided to fight Juan Manuel Márquez for a third time I was really excited. Freddie and I had been hearing him complain for years about the decision in our second fight and Freddie told me this would be a great opportunity to ‘shut Márquez up for good.’ A definitive victory in this third fight would end our trilogy with emphasis.
“We started training camp in the high altitude of Baguio in the Philippines and then moved to the Wild Card in Hollywood.
“From the first day or training Freddie and I thought we would beat Márquez. I was bigger than he and I had defeated better, stronger opponents since our last fight.
“We also underestimated him.
“He was in great condition, as usual, but he also looked stronger. Maybe cutting urine out of his diet agreed with him? But he did not hurt me.
“What really surprised me was he seemed to anticipate every move I made in the first rounds of the fight. It was frustrating because he was dictating the pace and style in many of those early rounds.
“I knew I had to drastically change my plan for the remainder of the fight and I threw strategy out the window and became the aggressor. Márquez is an excellent counterpuncher but I was still the faster and stronger fighter and I just went after him every chance I could. Freddie kept telling me three things between rounds – ‘Keep your lead [right] foot outside of Márquez’s;’ ‘Pressure Márquez;’ and ‘Knock him out.’
“The plan seemed to work. After the eighth round I felt the fight really turned around in my favor and Freddie and I thought I swept the final four rounds. Márquez had no meaningful response to my attacks. He barely fought in the 12th and final round.
“I was not surprised I won the decision. I thought I won the fight.
“Márquez wants to blame others for losing the decision but he didn’t do anything except run the last half of the fight. I brought the fight to him. I made the fight. If I had fought the same style of fight he fought, there would not have been a fight at all. There would have been no action.
“It’s funny, when I got back to the dressing room I thought ‘That finally settles that. I won’t have to fight Juan Manuel Márquez again.'”