Marquez coach: Fans want to watch Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, the longtime trainer of four-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez, believes  boxing hooligans are willing to spend thousands of dollars to witness first-hand the explosive style of Manny Pacquiao when he collides with Floyd Mayweather Jr in the ring on May 2 (May 3 in PH).

The 75-year-old mentor stressed that fans are excited to watch the Filipino icon more than Mayweather in their much-awaited ring showdown, which takes place at the 16,800-seater MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Of course, people will buy tickets like crazy because they know he is going to give a great show. I think at this moment people will buy tickets because of Pacquiao,” he said in an interview with ESPN Deportes.

Pacquiao rose to stardom with his speed and power, two of his key traits that enabled him to capture 12 world titles in eight different weight classes.

Beristain and Marquez went up against the renowned Filipino southpaw on 4 occasions, with the first 3 matches concluding in controversial fashion.

Even though Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the first round, the May 2004 meeting ended in a split-decision draw.

In their March 2008 rematch, Pacquiao scored a split decision to take away the WBC and lineal super featherweight belts from Marquez.

Marquez was given the opportunity to avenge his divisive loss to Pacquiao when the two bitter rivals met for the third time in November 2011, but the latter had his hand raised in triumph again via majority decision.

The outcome was different in their December 2012 fourth clash as Marquez turned the bout in his favor when he connected a short right with just a second to go in the sixth round, knocking his arch-nemesis out cold.

Beristain, the owner of Romanza Gym in Mexico City, also worked in Oscar De La Hoya’s corner in December 2008 when he faced the sport’s only eight-division world champion.

Pacquiao forced De La Hoya to hang up his gloves for good after an eighth-round stoppage.

Even though he considered Pacquiao as the more thrilling pugilist than Mayweather, Beristain favors boxing’s reigning pound-for-pound king to walk out with the victory due to his track record.

Mayweather is identified for dictating the fight’s tempo with his distinctive and effective brand of defensive guile all throughout his career, utilizing his shoulder roll, high-guard and elbow block to get rid of the shots from his foes.

In addition, he is recognized as a minimal-but-accurate hitter, clobbering his counterparts with a drop jab, leaning right hand and inside slap hook.

"Mayweather has proven to be the best pound-for-pound. He has never lost, but his style is not very appetizing to pay $7000 for a ticket,” Beristain stated.

Beristain is likewise familiar with Mayweather’s work as Marquez unsuccessfully tried to dethrone the unbeaten American boxer in September 2009.

Ticket prices of the heavily-hyped confrontation will start at $1,500 in the rafters and rise to an unprecedented $7,500 at ringside. – Rappler.com