The Pacquiao-Marquez III Fight Week Flurry

By Eric Raskin

Relive fight week with our exclusive on-the-ground videos.

Most major fights are preceded by about three months’ worth of buildup. Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III has been building toward a crescendo for more than three years. Naturally, the anticipation is highest during the final week of the process, so here’s a comprehensive roundup of Pacquiao-Marquez III fight week:

The seeds for this fight were planted in two classic battles that remain hotly debated to this day, forcing Pacquiao and Marquez to go the full trilogy route in order to settle matters. Pacquiao has had extraordinary success throughout his career against elite Mexican fighters, but Marquez is different. He has the skills and style to bother Pacquiao like nobody else has been able to, and there’s no questioning Marquez’s heart and determination.

Still, there are many who see Pacquiao having certain edges this time around that he didn’t have in 2004 or 2008. For one, he’s grown comfortable weighing more than 140 pounds and Marquez hasn’t yet, as the tale of the scale from their last several fights shows. The CompuBox numbers were awfully close in the first two fights and, if anything, might have favored Marquez, but there are questions as to whether Marquez can duplicate those numbers at age 38 and weighing 142 pounds.

The strategy behind this fight is fascinating, and experts and fans alike have spoken up with their opinions. You have to respect the expertise of Hall of Fame trainer and manager Emanuel Steward, who put a spotlight on three keys to the fight for each man. Trainers Freddie Roach and Nacho Beristain also had their say on strategic elements to look for. Former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones offered his take, and HBO.com writers Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney crunched the numbers and weighed in as well. And if you want the ultimate insights, go to guys who’ve been in the ring and experienced the greatness of Pacquiao first-hand. David Diaz offered a revealing, extremely honest take on how it feels to fight the Filipino icon, while Sports Illustrated spoke with Pac-Man’s sparring partners about the experience.

Beyond the punches and parries, there are the personalities. We welcomed Pacquiao and Marquez into our living rooms the past month on 24/7. At the final press conference, we witnessed the professionalism and respect these warriors share. There’s no denying that Pacquiao’s fans are out in force and loving him more than ever, and they’ve taken to Twitter to express themselves. @edrosa is ready for a party at the MGM Grand, @Jamike007 thinks Manny holds key advantages over Marquez, and @wilriv doesn’t think there’s anything Marquez can do to avoid defeat. But an upset is always possible, and @stephenmcelrone isn’t counting Marquez out.

Still have some link-clicking left in your fingers? There’s more to this pay-per-view than just the main event, with three undercard fights putting undefeated records on the line. If you’d rather focus on the main event and happen to have a short attention span, you can get the whole story in 59 seconds. And if you lean the other way and want to spend hours reading more and more about tonight’s showdown, the outstanding The Queensberry Rules boxing blog supplements all of the links here with even more links!

So cram in all the great writing and videos while you still can, because that first bell is about to ring …

 

Amir Khan Sees the Lighter Side of Vegas

By Kieren Mulvaney

Photo Credit: Will Hart

Amir Khan realized something this week: Fight week in Las Vegas can be fun. 

That's something that's normally lost on the fighters themselves, but this time, instead of trying to make weight and prepare to face the likes of Marcos Maidana or Zab Judah, Khan is in town to commentate on tonight's fight for British television, and provide support as needed for his stable mate Manny Pacquiao.  

“I think it's brilliant to just come to Las Vegas and enjoy yourself,” said Khan, echoing the sentiments of millions of vacationers before him. And while he isn't exactly the kind to walk along the Strip with a yard of margarita around his neck, he has been able to soak up the atmosphere in a more relaxed way than is normally the case. 

“Manny Pacquiao's the one who's fighting, so all the pressure's off me, I can just train [for his December 10 HBO World Championship Boxing bout with Lamont Peterson], be myself, enjoy it all, walking around like a fan, enjoying the press conferences and the weigh-in,” he explained. “Normally I'm stuck in my room and can't really do anything, this time I can get out a little bit and chill out. I can do what I want, eat what I want, go to sleep when I want.” 

Like Pacquiao, Khan is trained by Freddie Roach and has been a part of a number of the Filipino's training camps; given the destruction Pacquiao has visited on the likes of Antonio Margarito in recent bouts, it's almost discomfiting to hear Khan offer that the way he trained for those bouts was nothing compared to the intensity he has shown for tonight's clash with Juan Manuel Marquez. 

“I've seen a big difference with how he's trained for this fight and how he's trained for other fights in the past,” he said. “Manny's very focused for this fight. I think he wants to do a job on Marquez. He wants to put the record straight by going in there, knocking Marquez out this time and just settling the score really.” 

The previous two fights between Pacquiao and Marquez were nip-and-tuck, close-fought affairs that ended in razor-thin decisions. But that was then and this is now, and Khan is convinced that Marquez will be facing a much improved, and radically different, opponent than the one he fought in 2004 and 2008. 

“This version of Manny is different: Muscular, strong, bigger, harder-hitting, and still as quick,” he said. “But Marquez, as he has put size on, he's gotten slower. And in his last few fights he's been dropped a lot - by [Floyd] Mayweather, by [Michael] Katsidis - so he falls to the floor. And Manny has a lot more power than Mayweather and Katsidis, so I'm sure he's going to hurt him. I really think it'll be a stoppage in mid-rounds.” 

The Most Revealing Moments From 24/7

By Eric Raskin

This was not the first dance with the 24/7 cameras for either Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez. But no matter how well fans think they know these great fighters, there’s always something new to learn. Here are our selections for the most revealing moments from each episode of 24/7: Pacquiao-Marquez:


Episode 4: Some Bonds Are Unbreakable
Sometimes the word “family” refers to blood relatives, sometimes not. Two parallel moments from this episode showed the connections between these fighters and their loved ones: first, Marquez’s youngest son saying, as his dad prepared to leave for Las Vegas, “Everything will be okay.” Then, trainer Freddie Roach saying of his fighter, “I would die for Manny Pacquiao.” There is a softer side to the fight game, and it was revealed in these personal, powerful moments.


Episode 3: A Meteoric Rise Is Shared
Roach says he would die for Pacquiao. Well, the rest of Pac-Man’s friends and assistants will at least ink themselves up for him. We saw assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez getting his first tattoo, a flaming meteor on the inside of his left arm to match that of his boss and several other members of the camp. Now let’s see if Buboy takes the next step and gets Manny’s wife and kids’ names on his left shoulder.

Episode 2: No Diet Plan Lasts Forever
In arguably the most talked-about scene in 24/7 history, while preparing for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, Marquez revealed the unusual training habit of drinking his own urine. Entering the Pacquiao fight, the boxing world was dying to know: Is Marquez still digesting everything twice? In the most memorable voiceover 24/7 has ever given us, our answer was revealed: “He no longer drinks his own urine.” It’s a surreally spectacular line, made even better by the soothing sounds of Liev Schreiber’s voice.

Episode 1: Camraderie Is Thicker Than Blood
Pacquiao’s gym-mate Jorge Linares didn’t just lose to Antonio DeMarco in October. He suffered one of the bloodiest defeats we’ve ever seen. It was tough to watch—especially if you care about Linares personally, as Pacquiao does. But Pacquiao revealed the kind of man he is by going to Jorge’s dressing room afterward, consoling him, and not hesitating to offer a hug, even if his nice white shirt would certainly have to go in the trash afterwards.

Fight Week by the Numbers

Find out exactly what it takes to make fight week happen.

Roy Jones Answers Your Questions

Legendary fighter and HBO boxing analyst Roy Jones Jr. responds to fan questions from Twitter. See what his favorite weight class was to fight in, whether he thinks Marquez has the chin to deal with a bigger Pacquaio, and who he thinks has the more dangerous right hook.

Manny Pacquiao Is...

What do you think Manny Pacquiao is? Sound off in the comments.

Pacquiao's Grand Entrance

How would you describe Manny Pacquiao in five words? Your answer may be featured in an Inside HBO Boxing video during fight week.

Fight Week Slideshow, Weigh-In Show Today at 5:30 PM ET

Before the official weigh-in begins (watch it here beginning at 5:30 ET, followed by a special roundtable with Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Emanuel Steward) check out some of the great images Will Hart and Chris Farina have been getting over the week on HBO.com.

Photo by Will HartView the slideshow

Watch the Pacquiao-Margarito Fight Week’s Events Live Online

The action is already gearing up in Dallas, and you can keep up with all of it right here at InsideFightWeek.com. In addition to delivering updates throughout the week, the team will be webcasting major events via Livestream, Facebook or right here on HBO.com's Boxing blog. Mark your calendars:

 

Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 1:30 pm ET

Catch the fighters’ workouts and then stick around as they answer fan questions submitted via Twitter.

 

Wednesday, Nov 10 at 2:00 pm ET

Spend your afternoon making assessments and forecasts. Boxing historian Bert Sugar and insider Kieran Mulvaney analyze strengths and strategies before the press conference begins at Cowboys Stadium, and then some of the sport’s top reporters cast their own final predictions.

 

Friday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 pm ET

Watch Pacquiao and Margarito weigh in and answer the questions of reporters and special guests at Cowboys Stadium before HBO commentators Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Emanuel Steward sit down for a roundtable discussion.