By James Blears
Ring Legend Rueben “El Puas” Olivares says Manny Pacquiao will defeat Juan Manuel Marquez when the two clash for the third and final time in Las Vegas on November 12th.
Olivares was one of the hugely popular guests at the massive reception for the Manny and Juan road show which came to a grinding halt at The Monument of the Revolution in the heart of Mexico City. Thousands strained against crash barriers, which bent like paper clips, but somehow held with security men and riot cops pushing back for dear life.
Reuben who’s still a firm crowed favorite said: “It’s Juan Manuel’s last chance because of his age (38), so he’s got to go for broke. Juan has got to try his utmost to knock out Manny, because if he doesn’t Manny will surely knock him out. This is boxing! I think it’ll last for eight to ten rounds but no more. My heart says Marquez- he’s my countryman! But my head says Pacquiao!”
Smiling while he was signing dozens of boxing gloves and shirts Fernando Montiel suggested: “It’s going to be one dramatic fight like their last two but the Mexican is going to win- like always! Pacquiao is dangerous from start to finish of a fight, and Juan Manuel will have to take great care. But Juan will also have to attack, because Manny Pacquiao is a punch machine. I think it’s going to be a very, very difficult fight, but I’m confident that Juan Manuel can pull off a win.
Marco Antonio Barrera who’s now a commentator for TV Azteca has fought Manny and Juan. He enthused: “It’s going to be an extraordinary fight and the true winner will be the public. I know there is a bit of a weight difference, but it’s not too much. Juan Manuel is a great Mexican and everyone here wants him to win. But the reality is that Manny Paquiao is at another level.”
Manny is WBO Welterweight Champion, while Juan Manuel holds the WBO and WBA lightweight belt. Accordingly WBO President Paco Valcarcel was on the podium. But when all’s said and done, Mexico City is WBC territory. So prior to the main show WBC President Jose Sulaiman was on stage greeting the crowd and gaining applause with a lusty: “Viva Mexico.”
Eight days shy of Mexican Independence Day, there was a sea of green, white and red, but even though a big turnout was expected, the sheer volume of the crowd took both fighters by surprise.
Nothing new at the press conference. Freddie Roach said they’ve got a game plan to win the fight. Mutual respect between the two fighters but noticeably scant eye contact. The biggest laugh of the day was when the TV organizers threatened to cancel the presser if the media scrum, particularly the heaving snappers didn’t simmer down a bit. They didn’t, because they did.
And outside….lots of cheers and respect for Manny….but everyone in Mexico is rooting for the boxer who’s also a qualified