MANILA, Philippines — The whole nation knows everything there is to know about the ‘Pambansang Kamao,’ Manny Pacquiao. From his fight preparations to his marital woes, Filipinos are well aware of everything Pac-related, both in and out of the ring.
But do you know enough about his next opponent?
Pacquiao faces Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12 in Las Vegas (November 13, Sunday, Manila time) for their third bout. Get to know the Mexican warrior that his countrymen call “Dinamita (Dynamite).”
1) 26 Years and Growing
At 38 years old, Marquez has been fighting for most of his life — he has been boxing for 26 years. Twenty-six long years, with no plans of retirement. In 18 of those years, he has withstood 59 professional bouts, and finished 432 rounds, boasting 53 wins (39 KOs) and only five losses. His only draw? His fight against Manny Pacquiao, the first encounter in this epic series.
2) A True Warrior
Juan Manuel Marquez is known for his resilience. He is like a mosquito that you swat continuously, only for it to keep coming back. It is this fighting spirit that had given Pacquiao problems in the past. The Pacman had dropped Marquez four times but every single time, Marquez has gotten back up. And fought. Harder.
Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round of their first fight, but the latter clawed his way through the next 11 rounds, finishing strong and pulling off a draw. In their second meet-up in 2008, Marquez suffered a knockdown in the third round but yet again, he responded with fire and fervor. The fight was close. Marquez eventually lost via split decision, but controversy still persists regarding the judges’ scoring and final result.
3) Skills and Strengths
Aside from his resilience that gives him the ability to go toe-to-toe with his opponents, Marquez is known for other things that have made him the world champion that he is.
Counter punching is a Marquez trademark. Hit him hard and he will throw a blow right back. And another. And another. The Mexican’s counter punching has won him many a fights and is his Number One strength when it comes to offense — not just because of their accuracy but their intensity as well. Marquez is also an intelligent fighter. He has the rare talent of adjusting in the ring given the circumstances — something he showed in his past fights against Pacquiao, and most recently, against Michael Katsidis last year. Another strength? His trainer Nacho Beristain. The two men trust each other and share a father and son relationship that has been tried and tested over the years.
4) Unusual Habits
This is the first fight in recent years that Marquez has stopped drinking his own urine. The Dinamita’s pee intake was a regular habit up until this training camp because he believed that it contained nutrients essential to his body. Why did he stop? His doctor recently told him that doing so was neither necessary nor useful to anything except saving toilet water which would have been used to flush it.
One habit that remains this time around, however, is Marquez’s hyperbaric oxygen chamber visits. A hyperbaric oxygen chamber is exactly what it sounds like. No, it is not from outer space. Yes, it is a huge machine. For the past four years, Marquez spends at least an hour inside a massive time machine-like structure that pumps clean oxygen into his lungs after a tough workout. The chamber, he says, is one reason why he still can fight.
5) Impressive History
Juan Manuel Marquez is considered on of the best Mexican fighters that has ever lived. He is ranked as the N0. 5 pound-for-pound boxer in the world by Ring Magazine and is widely regarded as one of boxing’s current superstars. His last loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2009. He enters Saturday’s mega-fight having been victorious in the past three matches against Likar Ramos of Colombia in July, Michael Katsidis of Australia almost a year ago, and Juan Diaz of the USA in July of last year. He is confident he will continue the winning streak. Marquez has been asking for a Pacquiao rematch since his split decision loss to Pacquiao in 2008, which he has labeled a robbery (along with their 2004 draw), and for that reason, is coming to the fight with something to prove. Judging from his recent bouts, Marquez will not stop until the final bell rings.
We are in for a good fight.
Follow the reporter on Twitter: @natashya_g