Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao arrived last night at LAX International Airport in Los Angeles to begin training with Freddie Roach for a fourth bout against rugged Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs), an eight-division titlist who has earned a draw and two conquests over Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) since their initial meeting in May 2004, will formally start working with Roach tomorrow at the famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
“We’ll start at Wild Card on Monday, but we’ve already been training for three weeks in the Philippines. So we’ve moved our camp for now,” said Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz. “We’ve already been sparring for two weeks in the Philippines, and then Manny and I both spoke to Freddie early last week, and Manny asked Freddie to have sparring ready for here.”
The 33-year-old Pacquiao won an extremely debatable majority decision against Marquez in their third scrap last November 12 in “Sin City.”
Most recently, “The Fighting Pride of the Philippines” had his WBO light welterweight title unwittingly stolen by Timothy Bradley (29-0-01, 12 KOs), presently rated by Ring Magazine as the eighth pound-for-pound pugilist in the world, when criminally incompetent judges handed him a split decision in June.
Conversely, the 39-year-old Marquez, who has captured eight belts in six different weight classes and is currently ranked by Ring Magazine as the sixth preeminent prizefighter today, last vacated the squared circle in April with a lopsided unanimous decision triumph over Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico City.
Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
“Marquez will beat Pacquiao this time,” said Perron, 75, who worked in the 1980s with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “The first three fights could have gone either way and I think Manny has regressed lately. Marquez will win by split decision.”
Jeff Lyons is a boxing fanatic who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of The Sweet Science.
Although Lyons has immense respect for Marquez, the South Bostonian disagrees with Perron and predicts that Manny will emerge triumphant.
“Manny by split decision,” said Lyons, 33, a resident of South Boston. “It’s a horrible fight for Manny because he matches up so poorly with JMM.”
In contrast to the thoughts of Perron and Lyons, expect Manny Pacquiao to finally overwhelm Juan Manuel Marquez in a decisive manner approximately six weeks from tonight in “The Entertainment Capital of the World.”by