By Jake Donovan
Regardless of your thoughts on the necessity of a fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, the press tour for their December 8 bout in Las Vegas provided plenty of material for boxing collectors.
Anyone snapping pictures of the full dais in New York City or Mexico City will have in their possession a photo featuring five boxing personalities in the Hall of Fame or well on their way in the near future.
Bob Arum was enshrined more than a decade ago, yet the sport’s greatest active promoter still speaks with great pride when discussing the careers of future Hall of Famers Pacquiao and Marquez.
The driving force behind the fighters is their Hall of Fame trainers. Nacho Beristain and Freddie Roach are recent inductees into Canastota’s bungalow of boxing history. Roach has worked with Pacquiao for 11 years, amassing title wins in seven weight classes over that stretch. Beristain has been with Marquez from the moment he and younger brother Rafael Marquez entered his gym as teenagers.
The trainers have managed to come up with brilliant game plans for nearly everyone else in their respective paths, but have yet to outthink each other in a chess game seven years and running. It’s what has made the past 36 rounds so special and why those involved believe the fourth fight is a necessary entry, if not the final piece of the puzzle.
“I know that when the history of boxing is being written, three and now four fights between these two great warriors wll play a major role in the narrative of boxing,” Arum insisted during the New York City leg of the three-city press tour. “Each fight was a closely fought fight. Each time saying this time they will win decisively. One thing is sure: the fans will have a treat because it’s going to be a great fight.”
Much like the fighters, the trainers are not only guaranteeing victory but also promising something fresh and new.
“I've faced this man three times and haven't come up with a good strategy yet,” Roach said of Marquez, lending credence to the suggestion that Pacquiao’s 2-0-1 official series record hardly tells the story. “Juan Manuel is a smart fighter. We're going to get Manny in the best shape possible. We know it will be a difficult task. Juan Manuel is a terrific fighter.”
Beristain was equal in his praise of the fighter in the opposite corner.
“I want to comment on this fourth fight. Manny Pacquiao is one of the best fighters I have seen in recent time,” Beristain stated. “Juan Manuel Marquez is a fighter I have watched grow and fights with passion like nobody else. This final confrontation will be a war that will leave everyone satisfied. Manny Pacquiao is like a typhoon, but will confront a technical and class fighter in Juan Manuel.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox