Marquez eyes victory through training
Winning 54 of the 61 boxing matches he's had in his career – 39 of which came by way of knockout – Juan Manuel Marquez sports a winning percentage that few would find fault with. While some of Marquez' success comes from innate ability, it's mostly due to an impressive training regimen. And with one of his fiercest competitors, Manny Pacquiao, awaiting their December 8 meeting, observers say he's increased the intensity with which he puts into his routines.
Boxing observers say that Marquez has heavily trained for the fourth meeting with Pacquiao by, among other things, regularly participating in long distance runs. In fact, according to BoxingScene.com, much of his training for this match took place in his native Mexico, frequently running eight miles near Nevado de Toluca National Park.
"After working very hard for the first two weeks, my body is aching," Marquez told the boxing news website in October. "But later on you get used to the training and become a well-oiled machine."
Having competed in various classes – including featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and his current junior welterweight – Marquez has weighed gone up and down in weight ranges. But boxing experts say that the 39-year-old has put on pounds of muscle recently. So much so, some think that he's getting help from banned substances.
Pacquiao corner cries foul
Recently, hall of fame trainer and Pacquiao coach Freddie Roach told USA Today that he believes Marquez has used performance-enhancing drugs, saying that he couldn't have possibly developed in the way that he has without some kind of assistance.
"If his body is natural, I will kiss his [butt]," said Roach.
When Marquez received word of this allegation, however, he quickly set the record straight for his supporters, as well as those who will be rooting against him when he and Pacquiao meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday night.
"I think it's disrespectful when people start rumors like this," said Marquez during a teleconference with an assembly of reporters on November 27. "I have never done this type of work before. That's why my body has changed. Angel [Hernandez] is a professional and knows how much weight I am putting on. I am getting more speed and getting stronger at the same time."
Hernandez is Marquez strength and conditioning coach, but their relationship may help explain why Roach is skeptical of the 39-year-old's training, as Hernandez has worked in the past with athletes who have been convicted of using performance-enhancing drugs, including Olympic medalists and track athletes Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.
Marquez looks to prove judges wrong
Not only have Roach's doubts fueled Marquez to train as hard as possible, but so has the history between he and Pacquiao. Of his three previous matches with Pacquiao, all of them came by way of decision, losing two and tying in their first matchup in 2004.
Manuel contends that he should have won all of them, but poor judging robbed him of these opportunities.
"It seems Manny Pacquiao has only one opponent – me – while I have four – Manny and the judges," Marquez is reported to have said, according to BoxingScene.com.
With many indicating that this will be the last fight between Pacquiao and Marquez, the 39-year-old Marquez hopes to put his doubters to rest by sending the Fighting Congressman to his fifth loss.
For a limited time, first-time customers of Xoom will be able to watch the pay-per-view contest without cost to them. The process is simple. New customers should visit the promotional pages and send their first Xoom money transfer.
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