It’s a bit unconventional for a boxing press conference to kick off with a song, but when Manny Pacquiao is involved, boxing is anything but business as usual. Continuing the worldwide press tour for his upcoming bout on November 12 against Juan Manuel Marquez, the Filipino fighter/congressman came to New York City, where he took the stage with Dan Hill to sing a duet of their hit song “Sometimes When We Touch.”
But don’t think that a little breathy harmonizing means that he’s taking his third bout against Marquez lightly. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum announced that Pacquiao will be training for ten weeks, instead of his usual eight, in anticipation of another battle against the three-division champion. “Our previous fights against each other brought out the best in us,” said Pacquiao. “Of all the opponents I have fought, Juan Manuel Marquez is the only one who was able to anticipate many of my moves and effectively counter most of them, not unlike a chess match; but instead of exchanging pieces we exchange punches. Freddie Roach and I will need to make the most of every training day to prepare for Juan Manuel.”
Always the counterpuncher, Marquez has a plan of his own. “I beat him the first two fights but did not get the decision,” Marquez said. “This time I'm looking for a knockout with more intelligence and patience.”
Like the first fight in their trilogy (a dramatic draw), the November 12th fight for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The event will be preceded by the 11th installment of the 24/7 franchise, with the debut of the first episode on October 22nd at 10:00 PM ET/PT—Pacquiao’s fifth appearance on the program and Marquez’s second. The series will no doubt focus on the intense rivalry and respect between the two fighters, “each with a nation of support behind them,” in the words of Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President of HBO Sports and HBO Pay-Per-View.
For a taste of that drama, take a look back at the full video of the second match-up between the two. A super featherweight title bout that was decided by the absolutely thinnest of margins: