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Manny Pacquiao: First fight with Juan Manuel Marquez was 'very exciting'

HBO Sports
(Editor's note: In conjunction with HBO, Yahoo! Sports will feature special diaries from Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as they ready for their fourth fight on Dec. 8.)

The first fight with Juan Manuel Marquezwas very exciting.  Everyone was sayingthat it was a matchup between the two best featherweights and that wascontagious to me. I trained very hardwith Freddie Roach and I was really looking forward to it.

After I knocked Márquezdown for third time in the first round and I headed back to the corner I wasthinking, “It’s over. If I throw a fewmore left hands I’ve got him and I can end this in the second round.”  Freddie was telling me the same thing.

So I threw more lefts at Márquezbut the problem was I didn’t land them this time. I might have been a little impatient tryingto end the fight and looking back now those misses gave him time to recuperatea bit and adjust his game plan against me. 

[Juan Manuel Marquez: I trained hard for first fight with Manny Pacquiao]

I was really surprised at how hardMárquez fought and got himself back into the fight. That really impressed me. But better than that, we gave the fans agreat fight to watch.

Toward the latter rounds, becauseI was wearing socks that were very thin, I had developed blisters on my feetmaking it very difficult for me to move as effectively as I had during theearlier rounds. I had to fight moreflatfooted than we had trained. Afterthe fight, when I took my boots off, my socks were worn through and they werevery bloody.

Going into the last two rounds ofthe fight, Freddie told me I had to really pick it up and take the last tworounds to “seal the deal,” which I did. No question I won those last two rounds and I hurt him in the 12thround when he came out in a southpaw stance and I was able to land some veryhard shots. I remember him lookingunsteady after I hit him.

It was called a draw but if theone judge had correctly scored the first round 10–6 [for the threeknockdowns] instead of 10-7, I would have won the decision. But thenagain, maybe we wouldn’t have had the great fights together that followed if hehad? 

Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 takes place Saturday, Dec. 8, fromthe MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributedlive by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.



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