By Rick Reeno
Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39KOs) admits that he's a little nervous about winning a twelve round decision on Saturday night, when he faces WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Marquez believes he was robbed in their two prior meetings, which took place in 2004 and 2008. In the first fight, they fought to a twelve round draw, and Pacquiao won a close twelve round split decision in the rematch.
The three division world champion prefers a knockout victory, but he won't get careless to secure it.
"I just hope the judges are fair and they base their scores on what actually takes place in the ring. I don't know if I need a knockout to win the fight. I won't be chasing one, but if I hurt him at any time I will go for it," Marquez said.
If Marquez, 38-years-old, pulls off the upset, and wins the biggest fight of his career, many experts would consider it the perfect way to end his career. Marquez would continue fighting, especially with a lucrative rematch clause that guarantees him $10 million dollars for a fourth fight.
"I'm not even thinking about retirement. I feel good and this was the best training camp of my career. This time we put on weight the right way. I'm very focused on Saturday night. I know it's going to be a very tough fight, but I'm going to win it," Marquez said.
Marquez's trainer, Nacho Beristain, doesn't see retirement in the near future - "Marquez is older, but he doesn't act like an old fighter. I have a fighter who is 38, but he trains like he's 24. He can still accomplish a lot."