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Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez look to dominate December bout

They profess a desire to win by a knockout when they meet for a fourth time. Pacquiao has won the last two bouts and the first one ended in a draw.

September 18, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao will meet for the fourth time Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao will meet for the fourth time Dec.… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have reasons for chasing a knockout when they extend their series with a fourth fight Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) seeks to mute the nagging public and self-criticism that perhaps he has never really beaten Marquez, after they fought to a 2004 draw, followed by a 2008 split decision and a 2011 majority decision both awarded to Pacquiao.

"Aggressive, that's our focus this time," Pacquiao said Monday as the fighters appeared at the Beverly Hills Hotel to promote their pay-per-view bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. "I want to erase the doubts of the people."

Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) is out to halt the uncertainty of Nevada judges, who did not fully value his counter-punching prowess in the two losses to Pacquiao.

"I don't like the judges' decisions," Marquez said, adding that his trainer Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain "will change something in the plan. I'll try for the knockout, with intelligence and better strength and speed."

Pacquiao says he's free of the marital strife that weighed on him before his fight in November against Marquez, and he expects to improve his focus by spending his eight weeks of training at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, rather than splitting time in his native Philippines.

Roach on Monday wondered whether Pacquiao grasped the importance of taking a "killer instinct" into a Marquez fight after doing so in 2004 and scoring three first-round knockdowns.

"I want to make it a slugfest," Roach said. "Manny's knocked this guy down four times. If he wants to be the No. 1 guy in the sport, he needs a knockout."

Then, Roach heard Pacquiao speak of why he took this fourth fight against Marquez, instead of avenging a controversial split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley in June. The Filipino star said he wants "to make it certain there are not doubts in the minds of the fans," and how he strives "to show the hungry, 24-year-old Manny Pacquiao again."

And Roach smiled.

Fittingly, after 1 hour 8 minutes — the equivalent of 36 rounds — of action, Pacquiao's greatest rival seeks the same glory.

"People say, 'Why again?' " Marquez said. "Because I want to prove who's better, and I want the referee to raise my hand."

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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