By Edward Chaykovsky
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, expects to have the "old Manny Pacquiao" back on November 12, when the Filipino superstar faces Juan Manuel Marquez in a trilogy clash. Many critics felt Pacquiao and his last opponent, Shane Mosley, were too friendly with each other and the well-mannered relationship made for a bad fight.
The heat has been building between Pacquiao and Marquez since 2004 - when they fought to a controversial draw, and then in 2008 Pacquiao won a disputed split decision in the rematch. Marquez has often claimed that he was robbed in both fights. Arum predicts that everyone will see a very aggressive showing from Pacquiao.
“I think Marquez is a big test for Manny,” said Arum to The Philippine Star. “Manny is aware of that. Their first two fights were close. Manny has to be at his best to win over Marquez. This will be competitive. Manny will go all out to destroy Marquez’ defense which is quite good. I think you’ll see Manny show his old fire and fury against Marquez who’s not going to back down. I expect Manny to throw his best punches.”
Marquez has repeatedly claimed he was robbed of victory in his two fights against Pacquiao. The first ended in a split draw even as the Mexican went down thrice in the opening round. The outcome should’ve been a win by split decision for Pacquiao but judge Burt Clements erred in scoring the first round 10-7 instead of 10-6. The second was another close encounter with Pacquiao eking out a split 12-round verdict on the strength of decking Marquez once in the third.