Former four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez, who turned 40-year-old, says his age will not be a factor in Saturday's championship fight against WBO welterweight king Timothy Bradley at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
You are 10 years older and have 32 more professional fights than Bradley. Do you feel your experience is a big advantage and why?
Marquez: I don’t feel that my age will play any role in this fight or has played any role in my career. I don’t think my age helps me or hurts me in my fights. I have always taken good care of myself and I have moved up in weight at the right time and in the right way so that it will not affect me in any way, shape or form. I feel good when I train and I feel good when I go into the ring against younger foes. Facing younger boxers makes me work harder and it motivates me to train at my best and I love the challenge that it represents. Do I have to work harder and longer than before? Sure. But it doesn't take anything away from what I need to do to into the ring and win. The thing that may help me most is the experience I have in the ring in big fights and just the fact that I have gone through adversity so many times and come out a winner.
Experience gives you knowledge about yourself, it gives you confidence and it gives you the maturity to solve many problems in the ring. At this stage of my career I have faced some strong, tough and very determined opponents and they have made me a better fighter. I never underestimate anyone and that is also the byproduct of experience, because just when you think you have seen it all, something different will pop up and you have able to face it and deal with it. Bradley is not any different than other guys that I faced before. He wants to beat me and will do everything he can to do it and it will up to me to figure out what I need to do beat him in the ring. One thing I have learned in my career is that if you put in the work in the gym the fight will easier to win and the opponent easier to deal with; and as long as I prepare the best I can, I will come out victorious.
Professional athletes that take care of themselves will last a very long time in any sport and in boxing a big part of my success has been about maintaining my weight and keeping fit the best I can in between fights. And I have done that throughout my career. My age will not be a factor one way or the other, but my experience might be the difference between winning and losing in this fight.
Weigh-In Live: Bradley/Marquez debuts Friday, Oct. 11 at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Bradley vs. Marquez takes place Sat., Oct. 12 live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT