On a cold day at the races, Juan Manuel Marquez tried to stay hot.
Up in a makeshift ring, right by the stands of the historic Santa Anita racetrack, the great Mexican counterpuncher said he’s all set to face Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
He was asked what the first round would be like, and Marquez, with perhaps three layers of clothing on, said he expects a tough one.
“It’s going to be tough for me because Pacquiao will be looking for the knockout,” he said as he moved around the ring to face questions from the media, by the ropes, one at a time.
When told that Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Freddie Roach, was calling for a knockout, he clipped his shoulders and said anybody can say anything.
“Freddie can say whatever (he wants). People can say anything. I just want to give the people a great show,” he said.
Then again, he insisted that he won the first two fights, the one that ended in a draw seven-and-a-half years ago, and the one that ended in a razor-thin decision for Pacquiao in 2008.
He said the people saw those two fights, and he’s still counting on them.
“I think the last two fights the people know who won. I think I won the last two fights. The people feel the same,” said Marquez, who just flew in from Mexico.
He said he trained long and hard for this fight, with close to 140 rounds of sparring recorded, and he looked ready to go.
It was supposed to be an open workout for Marquez, at the same racetrack where Seabiscuit once reigned, and where the Seabiscuit with Shirley Temple was filmed a long, long time ago.
But it got a little too cold Marquez must have begged off from taking off his Nike track suit. Still, he said he felt happy.
“I trained hard for this fight, for my weight, for my strength, for my speed,” he said.
“But I don’t know why Pacquiao is very angry for what I said (that he won both fights). The best judge is the people,” said Marquez, who wrapped up his sparring sessions the other day in Mexico.
“I had six rounds. Maybe (a total of) 140 rounds,” he said.
Over at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Pacquiao sparred six rounds against two different boxers, and came close to knocking the Armenian guy down.
And yet Pacquiao is saving his best for the fight.