By Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Council president Don Jose Sulaiman believes “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao should overcome Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez when they clash for the fourth time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on December 8.
Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Pacquiao should win “if he takes the fight seriously” and all indications point to the fact that the southpaw from General Santos City is doing just that.
He skipped being a commentator for GMA 7 on the unification title fight between WBO champion Brian Viloria and WBA champion Hernan “Tyson” Marquez. GMA 7 televised the fight in the Philippines on Sunday afternoon but Manny wanted to rest after weeks of tough sparring and hard work in the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza who was at the fights along with Filipino trainer Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez told the Manila Standard that “its cold outside and Manny just thought it would be better since this is the flu season, to go home and rest.”
While some TV viewers in the Philippines and fans at the venue may have been disappointed GMA picked super bantamweight Drian Francisco who had earlier won a smashing 5th round TKO over Mexico’s solid Javier Gallo to work the Viloria-Marquez fight with Chino Trinidad and he did a fine job.
Ariza was pleased with Pacquiao’s decision to skip going to the fights pointing out that “this just goes to show you that Manny is taking this fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez very seriously. You know in the past he would have shown up for something like this and this time he’s just playing it safe.”
Sulaiman said that the 39 year old Marquez “didn’t look good at all in his last fight in Mexico City months ago against a mediocre fighter.”
That fight was against Ukraine’s Serhiy Fedchenko on April 14 this year when Marquez won the WBO interim light welterweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision.