FICTIONAL INTERVIEWS: Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao

December 28, 2010

What would happen if we could get boxers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao and their respective trainers and promoters to answer questions honestly? It might go something like this:

CAMP MARQUEZ: Juan Manuel Marquez, Trainer Nacho Beristain, and Promoter Oscar De La Hoya

Question to Juan Manuel Marquez: I know you are disappointed that it appears Shane Mosley, not you, will be fighting Manny Pacquiao --

Juan Manuel Marquez: Disappointed is an understatement.

Question: I understand. Now, you’ve repeatedly stated that you beat Pacquiao twice. The first fight you say you came back and beat him but only got a draw. In the second fight you state you clearly beat him despite being knocked down. Is that a fair statement?

JMM: Well, I do believe I beat him both times, but sometimes I like to exaggerate how clearly I “won” those fights. Actually, the first fight was quite close and when I do the math, I realize it’s not that easy to get a decision when you get knocked down 3 times! The second fight was better for me, but I certainly didn’t dominate it like I tell everyone.

Question to JMM: Are the past disappointing decisions against Pacquiao the only reason you have pushed so hard for a third fight?

JMM: Honestly, I am also jealous of all the attention that Pacquiao gets. Movie star, singer, congressman! Just because he has a more dynamic personality and style doesn’t make him a better boxer than me.

Nacho Beristain: Throw the machete Juan!

JMM: Man, I can’t get any breaks. First, Morales and Barrera steal all the Mexican fans but refuse to fight me. Then, after I outlast both of them, Pacquiao goes on to become this huge star leaving me in his shadow. When is Juan’s time? If I can just get this third Pacquiao fight and beat the “Mexicutioner,” I will finally be recognized as the ultimate Mexican boxing legend.

Question to JMM: I have heard you are considering fighting your fellow Mexican countryman Eric Morales, who appears way past his prime. Why?

JMM: Two reasons. First, I still resent the fact that Morales ducked me for a decade while he was fighting Barrera and Pacquiao – 3 times each! He knew if I defeated him back then that I would steal the spotlight and the loyalty of the Mexican fans away from him. Second, he is way past his prime and so I don’t have to worry about losing my next fight and screwing up any potential third fight with Pacquiao.

Question to Oscar De La Hoya: Who do you think are possible opponents for Marquez?

Oscar De La Hoya: It would be great to have two Mexican legends like Morales and Marquez fighting in the prime of their careers! If Marquez wins, then he will easily beat Pacquiao. Of course, there is still Amir Khan-

Nacho: Please Oscar, stay quiet with your predictions. You haven’t gotten one right yet! You said Hatton, Juan, and Mosley would beat Mayweather – how did that turn out?

You thought you would knock out Pacquiao, but when I screamed at you in the corner to throw the left hook - “Left, Right, 45!” – you stared at me like a deer in the headlights. Then you even thought Ricky Hatton would beat Pacquiao. Please, Oscar, no more endorsements – they are like the kiss of death!

De La Hoya: Calm down Nacho! I am just doing my job promoting Golden Boy fighters and I view it as close to impossible to tell the truth and do my job correctly. Do you think I really believe Marquez-Morales will be a great fight? Do you really think I believe in my predictions?

Nacho: If you were doing your job for Juan, you would never have tried to get Juanito to be a stepping stone for Amir Khan!

De La Hoya: It’s just business…

JMM: I am nobody’s stepping stone! I would have fought Khan if not for my back surgery…

De La Hoya: Really, Juan? I have the contract ready right here. Just sign where it says –

Nacho: Enough!

Question to JMM and Nacho Beristain: But are both of you totally confident that you would actually defeat Pacquiao in a third fight?

Nacho: Actually, I have significant doubts, especially at 147 pounds. Beside the fact that Juan has slowed down with age, he also did not handle the weight very well in the Mayweather fight. That’s why you might remember I openly stated that Mayweather “secured the victory” before the fight with Juan when he came over the catchweight of 144 pounds.

JMM: Look, like all elite boxers, I can never fully imagine myself losing. Nonetheless, I would have to be blind not to see that Pacquiao is vastly improved from when I fought him twice. Even in the second fight, Pacquiao had just started learning how to use his right hand! Now he seems to be a much more complete fighter. I am really hoping that Manny, when facing me, will get a little frustrated and revert to his old reliance on the straight left-hand. If not, then I guess I will just have to figure it out as I go along.

Question to JMM: Do you really believe Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the best pound-for-pound fighter as you have stated?

JMM: Sometimes I realize it is a little silly to be so sure about that – especially based upon a fight in which he looked twice my size. But it’s because I am both very humble and quite arrogant at the same time.

I am humble because I can’t deny the greatness of a fighter like Mayweather who beat me decisively – the only time I really believed I lost in my career! But I am also arrogant because I really believe that I should beat anyone at any weight – even Mike Tyson in his prime. If they beat me, they must be the greatest!

Not to mention I know it pisses Pacquiao off.

CAMP PACQUIAO: Manny Pacquiao, Entourage Leader Buboy Fernandez, Trainer Freddie Roach, and Promoter Bob Arum

Question for Manny Pacquiao: Manny, you’ve stated that you don’t think the public would be interested in seeing Pacquiao-Marquez III. Why do you believe that?

Manny Pacquiao: I don’t believe that actually. What I really mean is that I don’t think I am interested in a third fight with Marquez, and it has nothing to do with the public’s level of interest. I know that, other than a potential bout with Mayweather, I pretty much sell any fight all by myself – so it really isn’t about selling my opponent to the public.

Frankly, when I am talking about an “interesting” fight, I’m actually talking about fighting someone who is perfect for my style – who comes straight forward, is slower, and is fairly predictable. All of these components would help me record an exciting knockout.

Question for Bob Arum: Well, Bob, you’ve indicated that Shane Mosley is the next opponent because that would be the biggest fight financially. Why is that?

Bob Arum: It clearly isn’t about the money – after all, I just had Pacquiao fight with Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, two fighters with less name recognition than Marquez! What is important is that I consistently set Manny up with fighters whose style fits Manny perfectly - and pose no significant threat to my most valuable asset.

After watching Mosley in his last two fights, Manny should have no problem with him. He’s an old man now. Plus, he’s willing to ditch Golden Boy to get the fight done. Perfect!

The only acceptable risky fight I would want to promote for Manny is a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. – because the pay day is just too huge to pass up. Plus, even a detached business-man like myself hates Floyd on a personal level and wants Manny to beat him up.

Question for Pacquiao: Manny, are you the one deciding on your next opponent or, as you have stated previously, do you let your promoter Bob Arum handle that issue?

PacMan: Look, I just talk about deferring to Bob Arum or Top Rank for public consumption when I want to avoid having to answer a question directly. Plus I have a gracious and humble personality that lets me get away with those kind of absurd statements.

Of course I make all the decisions – haven’t you watched 24/7 on HBO? Freddie Roach can’t even tell me what to do during training camp! I didn’t ask anyone before making movies, becoming a singer, or running for Congress, did I? I am going to be the President of the Philippines one day. Why would I let anyone dictate my boxing career?

Question: So who do you want to fight next? What about Juan Manuel Marquez?

PacMan: Truthfully, I am actually conflicted about that. Frankly, I hate the thought of fighting Marquez because his style was always a problem for me. He is probably the best boxer among potential opponents out there right now, but I am used to having fights when I am faster and smarter than my opponent by a wide margin. Right now my fights are entertaining and relatively easy – kind of like the Harlem Globetrotters against the Washington Generals . . . but Marquez might actually test me.

Marquez is just a stubborn, annoying old fighter who won’t go away. I hate even talking about him, let alone fighting him. Honestly I thought I was done with Marquez after he foolishly moved up to fight Mayweather and got dominated. My first thought was “good riddance!” But Marquez keeps winning and looked damn good in his last fight with Katsidis!

On the other hand, of course I would love to shut Marquez up after all of these years. Every time his name comes up it reminds everyone of how close our first two fights were. Of course I realize he is the one irritating blemish on my record because he is the one fighter I never figured out. What do you think I am, stupid?

But why does he always have to cry about it? Is it my fault that he can’t go up in weight like I can? Why can’t he just graciously accept the fact that his style will never make him the star that I am? I get along with every fighter I have ever beaten, except for Marquez. Everyone loves me, why can’t he? He’s the only one who hasn’t bowed down yet . . .

Question: But won’t he be forced to do that if you beat him decisively?

Pacquiao: Actually, that’s a good point . . .

Freddie Roach: But we would only fight him at 147 pounds.

Question to Freddie Roach: Why is that Freddie?

Roach: Because my job is to guarantee Manny a successful result. I owe him that after all he’s done for me. Sure that means an intensive 8-week training regimen, hard preparation, and sound advice in the corner. But I’d much rather win the fight earlier -- when the contract is signed! If Marquez were to fight Manny at 147 pounds, I can pretty much guarantee that Manny dominates him.

People might remember that Manny has never actually weighed in at 147 pounds for a fight before. In his 4 welterweight fights, Manny only weighed as high as 145 pounds once -- against Joshua Clottey. I had to tell conditioning coach Alex Ariza to shut up about how easy it is for Manny to make 140 because that makes me look like a fool in public. At that weight, Marquez might actually have a chance.

Question to Freddie Roach: So are you trying to avoid a Pacquiao-Marquez III with these weight demands?

Roach: Don’t get me wrong, I think Manny would beat Marquez at any weight. But part of me genuinely hopes that the inflated weight scares Marquez away. That stubborn loudmouth has to realize that he looked awful against Mayweather when he tried to go up that high in weight.

Then again, Marquez will probably fight at any weight if we throw enough money at him. That nut actually thinks he can beat Manny. I used to think Manny was superstitious and hard-headed about the blood testing stuff, but that Marquez is downright crazy. He drinks his own urine for God sakes!

But really, I hope Manny does fight him so we can finally shut Marquez up about those two previous fights. Everyone already knows I think that those fights could have gone either way. It eats at me when anyone brings up those damn fights . . . all people seem to remember is how “heroic” Marquez was after Manny knocked him down 3 times in the first fight.

Question to Freddie Roach: Does it bother you that many boxing fans are upset at the decision not to fight Marquez this time?

Roach: It honestly does. That’s why I hope we fight Marquez after the Mosley fight. An added bonus if we fight Marquez would be that I regain my well-earned reputation for telling it like it is. When I talk about Marquez it makes an honest guy like myself, a guy who has a reputation for bluntly stating the truth, start making silly statements like the one about Manny’s weight.

Look, I have too much integrity to ignore the credentials and accomplishments of a great fighter like Marquez. I know he deserves the fight and will probably push Manny to take it if he’s open to the idea – but he doesn’t really listen to me as much as some of you think.

Arum: Well, he does listen to me, right Manny? (turning to Pacquiao’s empty seat) Where did he go?

BuBoy Fernandez: Sorry about that guys, but Manny had to leave – he has a singing engagement, a political rally, and a party he needs to appear at all within the next hour.

By Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

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