BOB ARUM: Welcome to this conference call with the legendary Juan Manuel Márquez and Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristáin. We are 10 days away from the big fight when Manny Pacquiao faces off against Juan Manuel Márquez. There has been great anticipation and I want to thank HBO for the great job they have done, particularly with 24/7 where they have highlighted this event and it really has had so much substance to it and everywhere I go people have told me how much they have loved the show. I am proud to be on this call with Márquez who has proven to be one of the great fighters of our era and on November 12 I can tell you it will be the fight of his life.
Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: We have had a great training camp and we look forward to November 12th. It’s a big fight and I think preparation has been one of our best.
NACHO BERISTÁIN: I believe this is the best training camp he has had in his whole career and we are going to give Pacqiao a great fight.
Do you think this will settle questions?
NACHO BERISTÁIN: Without question, we have prepared ourselves to win this fight again. They can say what they want. They are great trainers and he is a great fighter. If they feel they won the first two fights so be it – we feel the same way and that’s the way you should go into a fight.
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: That’s why we are doing this third fight. The first two were very close and this fight should end all doubt. We are not the only ones saying we won the fights. There are a lot of fans and media out there saying the same thing- that we won those two fights.
Have the distractions from the last few days from Conte been a distraction?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: Not at all. Victor Conte can say what he wants. Is it a fact? I think the lawyers will have their hands on that case. As for me I am just preparing myself to be ready for a fight. If he can present some facts, then we can have the attorneys take care of that.
Tell us how each fighter has changed…
NACHO BERISTÁIN: I think Pacquiao has become a better technician as a boxer. I think Márquez has become more mature as a fighter and now fights at a higher level and has gotten better. At his age sometime you wonder if he is focused for the fight but I know that he is – he’s always going to be focused and he’s always going to be ready for a fight. We are looking to give you guys a great fight and he’ll fight like he’s 24. I think Pacquiao’s punches are thrown technically better – he is not as wild as he used to be. He looks like he knows what he is doing and that is a direct impact of Freddie Roach. He is throwing a much better right hook.
How do you feel going into this fight after the first two?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I feel very happy with all the training I have done for this fight. We are going to clear all the doubts from the first two fights and I feel very good about it.
Would you have liked for this fight to come earlier in your career?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I don’t believe age has anything to do with it. I prepare myself very well and I’m going to be just as good as I would have been a few years ago. As long as I had the good training camp that I had I’ll be fine.
There is extra motivation for Pacquiao about what you said about the first two fights…
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: Well, if he is upset about what I said about winning the first two fights – I am upset that I didn’t get the decision. I am motivated just as much as he is. We all have opinions and my opinion is that I didn’t get the decisions I deserved.
Márquez had problems moving up in weight to fight Mayweather – why do you think this is OK?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I had problems moving up but I would rather fight Pacquiao three or four more times than fight Mayweather once. Mayweather is a defensive fighter – he doesn’t let you fight, but we know Pacquiao comes to fight and he is a spectacular fighter, he is always going to give you a fight and that’s why I know it will be a war between us.
How do you feel about the news regarding Hernandez?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I knew that he trained many elite athletes before I met him. We talked about what I needed to do and I was very happy about what he told me I needed to do. He’s a very professional guy and we work very well together. I think those things being said about him by Conte and Ariza I think are legal issues that he is going to have to deal with. I am just preparing myself to fight.
NACHO BERISTÁIN: I have the most respect for the work he has done for us. When Juan Manuel comes to the gym he has the power and energy – a guy that I know I can work with and will be ready. That’s why I think we will win the fight. I have the utmost respect for what he has done and how Juan has responded to his work.
Are we going to see a difference in power?
NACHO BERISTÁIN: We knew we needed to do some things differently. We had been doing the same things for 15 years and we needed a change. We are very happy with the results and we think it is going to make me a better fighter and I am going to be well-prepared for this 3rd fight with Pacquiao.
Why didn’t you know about Hernandez’ background before now?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I just know that when I met him his background was with elite athletes. We discussed what I needed to do. I didn’t find out anything about this stuff that has been written until the last few days. It was big news to me but it is a shame because of all the work I have done and preparation has been thrown into the trash can by this guy Conte and Ariza by saying these things. I worked very hard but I’m not going to stop training for the fight. Whatever testing they want to do, blood or Olympic, I am ready to do it. We’ll do it, no problem, as long as he does it too.
BOB ARUM: Many of you are really behind the times. Conte and Hernandez were implicated in the use of steroids in the so-called BALCO case. The two of them are the least to be involved in steroids since they have learned their lesson. Secondly, people who understand getting athletes ready know now that you don’t use steroids, not because they are good guys, but because naturally supplements, used correctly, have the same effect of steroids without the bad part — without the rage and the future health concerns. So the conditioners who know what they are doing wouldn’t touch steroids because they are not as effective as the natural substances and the sophisticated training methods now used. You are talking about things that existed five or ten years ago that are not currently being used.
How do you get inside against a guy like Pacquiao?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: Freddie Roach also if looks at the same films that we have he noticed that I always won the “combat zone” as I like to call it. It is important that we do it again but it’s not going to be easy. It is going to be tough but you have to know how to do it and when to do it.
How do you take the right hook away from Manny?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: Obviously when we fought the first two times the right lead was the one we had to worry about – that was the big one, the one we tried to nullify. It looks like he has a better right hand now. You have to go up in the ring with the mentality to be ready for both. Focus on what you have to do and be ready for both hands.
How did you bounce back from Mayweather loss?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: That fight with Mayweather, obviously he was a defensive fighter with long arms – a difficult guy to fight. He doesn’t really exchange and you have to take the fight for what it was. But we were able to win some fights and get back to the one we always wanted to do. The fans wanted to see and it and the press wanted to see this third fight. I think our styles match and make great fights because we both want to fight and we both want to win. I think I’m ready. It’s a big fight and it’s coming up pretty soon and I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great fight.
What do you think you can do different in this fight?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I think it is a question of getting stronger and keeping the speed. That is key to victory – being strong and as quick as he is.
How do you feel about the odds 9:1?
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: It doesn’t do anything for me. People can make bets and if they like to odds that is fine with me. It has nothing to do with my fight. I have to go into the fight with the mentality that I have to win each round and if the opportunity comes I go for the knockout. I am not going to hesitate if the opportunity is there.
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: Without a doubt the fight is personal for me too. I didn’t get the two decisions I thought I won. I think I will win this fight because I should have won the first two. It is going to be great because we both want this fight and we are going to give it our all. The winners are going to be the fans because we are two guys that are going to go in there and give it our all.
NACHO BERISTÁIN: We have never doubted that Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. If anyone says anything about him we have always defended him. We think he’s a great fighter and athlete but now they are saying this about Juan, like Bob Arum says, there are different ways to get fighters ready for a fight. Juan looks very strong and has worked very hard to get that way. We have done it the right way and don’t understand why anyone would doubt that.
JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ: I worked very hard to win this and fight and to give everyone a great fight and I am going to be ready in a few days.
Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), the lone representative of the Sarangani province in the Philippines, is in his final 10 days of intense training for his defense of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against professional nemesis and three-division world champion Juan Manuel Márquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), of México City. Pacquiao and Márquez, with world titles in 11 weight divisions between them, will go toe-to-toe on Saturday, November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. Pacquiao-Márquez III will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Remaining closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are on sale and available at all Las Vegas MGM Resorts properties.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Márquez Boxing, Tecate and MGM Grand, The Pacquiao-Márquez III world championship telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.
Episode No. 3 of the all-access reality series “24/7 Pacquiao/Márquez” premieres This Saturday! November 5, at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Episodes No. 1 and No. 2 are available at HBO ON DEMAND® and HBO GO® in addition to multiple replays on the network. The four-part series premieres on three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.
For Pacquiao-Márquez III fight week updates, log on to www.toprank.com and www.hbo.com.