Manny Pacquiao Media Conference Call Transcript

Bob Arum: Iím here today in Los Angeles. Manny is doing a media workout later in the day. Heís, as he will tell you, fit and ready and raring to go. I canít wait for March 15 because itís a night that Iíve been anticipating as has so many fight fans for a long time.

And itís a pleasure for me to put on the call the tremendous trainer of Manny Pacquiao, trainer of so many great fighters, Freddie Roach. Freddie.

Freddie Roach: Thanks Bob. Yes Pacquiao in getting ready for this fight Iíve never seen him more focused and weíre just putting a lot of hard work in, we had great sparring partners and this week weíre starting to taper up a little bit and his weight was 133 yesterday so no problem there and I think youíll see the best Pacquiao yet in this one.

Bob Arum: Thank you Freddie and now the man of the hour, the guy that so many of us are so proud of, the pride of the Philippines, the pride of Filipinos all over the world, one of the most admired fighters of this era, Manny Pacquiao.

Manny Pacquiao: Thank you Bob and hello to everybody, and Iím excited to be at the fight on March 15 and very focused on a really good fight.

Bob Arum: Yes thank you Manny and now Freddie to clue in the operator and weíll take some calls.

Q: My first question for Manny, Iíd like all of you guys to address this but Manny first, we talked to Juan Manuel yesterday about the first fight, obviously a lot of people remember that first round Manny, you had him down three times, he was able to survive and climb back in and get a draw in a fight that was, you know, a great fight, a lot of action and a very close fight. Can you describe your thoughts as you saw him go down for the third time and did you think you had him finished and what were you thinking as the rounds were on and you just could not get rid of him?

Manny Pacquiao: Well, the first fight is when I dropped him three times and the second time I hurt my left hand. In that third knock down I thought that the fight is over. He is a tough fighter and very strong so I have a lot of respect for him and I wonít underestimate in this fight.

Q: Iím sure youíve watched your fight, your first fight with Marquez several times. Can you give any specifics of what youíre looking to do differently? I know youíve made improvements going to the body, youíre using your right hand a lot more than normal but what exactly are you using or are you going to do differently from the first fight?

Manny Pacquiao: Well thereís a lot of difference from the first fight and I think that we will surprise everyone with our new strategy. It will be different from the strategy on the first fight.

Q: How high in weight do you think youíll ultimately go, 135, 140 or?

Bob Arum: The next fight and the fight after that.

Manny Pacquiao: Oh the next fight I totally, I donít want to discuss the next fight but I want to answer your question. 135 lbs..

Q: Question for both Manny and Freddie. A lot of people talking about the first fight with Marquez four years and Iíd like to ask Manny how much better of a fighter do you think you are since four years ago and how do you think those four years have affected Marquez?

Manny Pacquiao: I think I have learned more experience than the first fight and then Freddie has taught me a lot of new techniques and more development of my right hand.

Q: And how do you think Marquez is in those four years, you Ė obviously the age factor has worked in your favor at this point?

Manny Pacquiao: I think that Marquez is still strong and still a good fighter and (it indicates 34 years old) and I wonít underestimate Marquez.

Q: And Freddie, how much of a different fighter do you think Manny is today from that first fight four years ago?

Freddie Roach: Heís a much more complete fighter now and heís a lot stronger and I think you know, heís just overall a better fighter and Marquez, you know, heís changed his style a little bit and being a little bit more offensive and come at you guys and throw more punches and I hope he keeps doing that, I hope he doesnít go back to his kind of punching style with Pacquiao but I think if he comes to us itíll make it easier. But if he wants to go with the kind of punching style weíve got a great game plan for that.

Q: Manny, I actually had talked about this with Freddie in San Francisco, but I wanted to get your thoughts, you know, obviously four years again is a long time, but what kind of Marquez do you expect to come out in this fight?

Manny Pacquiao: Well Iím expecting Marquez at his 100% best. He is hungry for a victory in this fight because heís the only Mexican left who has a chance to beat me. He wants to make a name by beating me. He needs to win this fight thatís why he will do his best to fight a good fight and to win this fight. I wonít let him do that and I have trained hard and prepared for this fight, so itís going to be a good fight.

Q: And Bob, just a quick question for you. Obviously thereís still a lot of buzz up here near San Francisco about his public work out and Iíve talked to a lot of fans and media and who have asked me the same thing so Iíll ask you, do you plan or would you like to bring Manny back up here in San Francisco for a future fight?

Q: Yes absolutely, I mean Manny wants to fight. He told the people that he promised them that he would do a fight in San Francisco and certainly maybe later this year I would love for Manny to fight in San Francisco, you know, because of the tremendous number of Filipinos in the area and fight fans, it would be great and weíve already been contacted by the people that run the stadium where the baseball Giants play.

Q: Bob, at the workout in San Francisco, how overwhelming was the public and media reception up there?

Bob Arum: Oh it was tremendous, it was tremendous, we had every television network station there, we had to have six San Francisco policemen come out because the crowd was so large and they were very enthusiastic and very well behaved by the way, very well behaved. So it was just great, it was just a wonderful experience for Manny and for Freddie and myself.

Q: Good morning and thanks again for coming up to the San Francisco Bay Area. You know you can put Marquez down, he knows that you can put him down, do you think that gives you a psychological advantage and are, will you be looking for a knockout in this fight?

Manny Pacquiao: We donít know yet but Iíll do my best to give a good fight. I think itís a big advantage to me because I dropped him three times in the first round in the first fight. I donít want to be overconfident because I know heís trying to for revenge to win this fight.

Q: I know you ran for public office in the Philippines and youíre as big as any fighter in the United States over in your homeland. There have been questions about if youíre still hungry, can you talk about if you still have that same desire, that still hunger to be the fighter that youíve been?

Manny Pacquiao: Well thatís a good question. Thatís why I came here two months before the fight and Iím training hard because I am still hungry. I have never worked harder than in this training camp.

Q: How long do you see yourself, how much longer do you see yourself fighting? A year, two years, five years, do you have any time frame whatsoever?

Manny Pacquiao: I donít know yet. Marquez is 34-years-old and still fighting and heís still a great fighter, so I donít know.

Q: I could get an answer from Freddie and Bob -- looking back at the first fight after those three knock downs, Freddie you got to be thinking to yourself, you know what weíre winning this fight easy, I donít even have to go up the steps for round two. Can you talk about your thoughts when you saw Marquez rise and not only get up and come back and you know, have a great fight for himself?

Bob Arum: Yes, well you remember four years ago I was on the other side. So, you know, I was Marquezí promoter and I thought the fight was over, absolutely and I was amazed when Marquez got up and carried on in the second round and then really gave a good account of himself for the rest of the fight. Other than the way it ended it was, it reminded me when Kelly Pavlik fought Jermain Taylor and got knocked down in the second round and then got up and came back. It, when I was watching the Pavlik fight it reminded me of the Marquez fight. I thought it was a tremendously gutty performance by Marquez. That being said, other than the fact that a judge made a mistake, Manny won that fight. In other words, that, the first round should have been scored 10-6 andÖone judge didnít realize it could be scored 10-6 and if he had Manny wouldíve won the fight.

Dan Rafael: Manny, did you want that rematch right away, there was a lot of talk right afterward I guess, Juan Manuel talked a little bit yesterday about he actually put some blame on Top Rank and Bob for the rematch not coming off right away, but be that as it may, was that a rematch that you wanted from the moment that the first fight ended?

Manny Pacquiao: Yes, I wanted an immediate rematch. We had (problems about the decision) so I thank you Bob for finally making the fight. Iím very excited for this fight. I want to finish this business.

Bob Arum: The only reason the rematch didnít happen four years ago is because Marquez had an idiot manager, I mean thatís the only reason because at that point Manny wasnít a Pay Per View star and so we were going on HBO and we took the HBO money and divided equally between the fighters and Marquez for some reason Beristain wanted 100% of the money and obviously couldnít be done because Manny wasnít going to fight for nothing.

Q: Hey Freddie, thank you. Listen, I want to know this training camp seems to be one that Manny apparently is more focused than heís been in quite some time. Did you find it imperative to get him in camp for this particular fight this early or was it just something that youíve been itching for Manny to do for a long time and finally you corralled him and got him in Hollywood?

Freddie Roach: No. it was actually Mannyís choice. Manny told me he wants to come eight weeks before, I told him great, and he showed up on time and he knows how tough a fight this is and weíre taking this very seriously. There have been no distractions in this camp whatsoever. Heís really, really been a great student and for Manny, I think training for eight weeks heíll be at his best and thatís what itís going to take to beat this guy.

Q: Manny, when you made the decision to come in two months early, was it because of Marquez or was it because you realized this is what youíve needed to do for your entire career?

Manny Pacquiao: First I realized Marquez is not easy opponent and second one is I realized that I had not been as hungry as I had been before when I start boxing. Iím hungry now , hungry enough to win next week and to fight and to get (off ground), but Iím realized myself that, you know, Before I was 50% or 60% dedicated to boxing. Now I am 100% dedicated to boxing and to the training. Boxing is my career.

Q: Bob, is this something that you are going to expect Manny to do throughout the remainder of his career in regards to a full camp?

Bob Arum: Well Manny is a great athlete and I would hope that he took future fights as seriously as heís taking this one and Freddie does the same. But in the end itís up to Manny whether heíll do that or wonít do that because after all itís his career and heís responsible for that part of his career. So Iím very optimistic that as we go on the next few years Manny will get into this kind of shape that heís in for this fight and future fights.

Q: Manny, a lot of people expect this fight as just about all your fights are, to be very action-packed, a lot of punches thrown by both fighters, can you tell us as you prepare for this fight, whatís your mood, how do you mentally prepare for a fight that people expect to be really exciting and really action-packed?

Manny Pacquiao: I want this fight to have a lot of action in the ring and of course Iím really prepared physically and solid spiritually. Iím prepared, Iím really prepared and I want more action. I like the action.

Q: Is there anything you do specifically to prepare yourself mentally? We know what you do physically, the training and the technique and all that, but what, anything special you do mentally for this?

Manny Pacquiao: Well, mentally I relax for the training and relax and watch the fight tapes and just focus on the fight. I didnít think about anything except boxing, except the fight.

Q: Thereís talk that if you win this fight that youíll challenge David Diaz for his WBC lightweight title. What are your thoughts about Diaz and would you like to do that if you win this one?

Manny Pacquiao: Well right now Iím very focused for the March 15 fight with Marquez. I think I want to fight at a higher weight and 135 pounds because I think that I can make it.

Q: And just in general what are your thoughts about David Diaz as a WBC lightweight champ?

Manny Pacquiao: Heís strong but heís not fast. Heís a good fighter, and strong, but I believe that I can beat Diaz.

Bob Arum: Roman, everybody should know that David Diaz will be on the card on the televised portion of the card, heíll be fighting a ten round non-title fight against Ramon Montano on the card.

Q: Manny I know you started at I believe at Flyweight and Iím just wondering, I mean youíre obviously at 130 now, whatís been your biggest asset moving up in so many weights? Is it your power, your speed, the fact that youíre a southpaw or your aggression? Whatís the key to you moving up through so many weight classes so successfully?

Manny Pacquiao: When I started boxing I was young, getting bigger, bigger, so that moving up in weight, instead of fighting weight ,I can make the weight in higher divisions, so, thatís why I have moved up to 130 and next fight Iím moving up 135.

Q: So I mean with that is it the power, the speed or your aggression or the fact that youíre a southpaw, I mean if you can pinpoint one thing that maybe is the biggest reason what would you single out?

Manny Pacquiao: Well the power is there. You can get the power in training. When I was a flyweight, I had speed but now Iím fast bu I donít have the speed like when I was young in the flyweight division. But Iím satisfied with my speed right now.

Q: Manny, do you have any more political aspirations? Or not?
Manny Pacquiao: Well right now I want to focus on my boxing career and focus to my studying, Iím studying right now in and focus on my boxing career and especially to my family good times, enjoy my life with my family.

Q: Freddie, I know you were kind of startled at his gym in the Philippines going there last year all the hangers on and the kind of the circus atmosphere. Is that one of the reasons why he came here early, is that kind of cleared up?

Freddie Roach: Yes that was definitely when weíre in the Philippines of course heís so popular that everybody wants a piece of Manny and Manny wants to be accommodating to everybody and please everybody so you know, like (that guy) that says heís going to turn his back, thatís the most absurd statement Iíve ever heard, but heís, he loves his country and they love him and the thing is, you know, he knows that thereís less distractions here in Los Angeles, less people trying to get a piece of him and we can really focus on the fight and thatís what weíve done.

Q: What does it mean to you that so many Mexicans have become your fans that youíve crossed over to the Mexican market?

Manny Pacquiao: Well I want to be liked not only in the Philippines but all over the world and including the Mexican people and I donít want, somebody calling me the Mexican Assassin. Iím just doing my job in the ring, giving a good fight to the people.

Q: And Bob what are your feelings on that?

Bob Arum: Obviously thatís part of what my job is, is to cross Manny over to as many different ethnic groups as possible and I think that thatís happening, that so many Anglos in this country are following Manny Pacquiao, know Manny Pacquiao, heís known throughout the world. I mean he has to be the most exciting fighter in boxing today and people watch him and want to watch more of him because heís always in a good interesting fight and thatís not necessarily the case with many fighters today.

Q: Manny, which did you find the most difficult of all the Mexicans that youíve fought?

Manny Pacquiao: Most have been difficult. Barrera, Morales, Marquez are difficult opponents and good fighters. Any fight is difficult if you donít train hard, but if you train hard, the fight is easier. I have to train hard for every fight.

Q: Marquez said yesterday that the fight would be a totally different fight and that seems like that might be one thing that you and he agree upon. Do you think it will be a totally different fight? And also can you talk a little bit about what you do in the course of training just to try to relax a little bit, see a movie, play basketball, watch basketball, play some billiards? What do you do just to sort of clear your mind and take a little break?

Manny Pacquiao: Well I expect Marquez in this fight to be fully prepared and he will apply some new techniques. Weíre prepared for that. On Sundays I relax my mind, I stay in my apartment and play darts and play chess.

Freddie Roach: And karaoke.

Bob Arum: Okay, before we end I just want to mention the other fights on the card in addition to the David Diaz-Ramon Montano fight, two other outstanding fights will be part of the Pay Per View telecast which is $49.95 distributed by HBO Pay Per View, featherweight champion Steven Luevano will defend his world title against number one contender Terdsak Jandaeng from Thailand who has an outstanding record of 29 wins only two defeats, 19 knockouts, terrific fighter. That should be a great fight.

And then another terrific fight the NABO Bantamweight title, Abner Mares of Mexico 15 and 0 with nine knockouts goes against the Diosdado Gabi of the Philippines with a record of 30 wins, three defeats, 1 draw, 22 knockouts. So itís a hell of a card and I commended every boxing fan who wants to see a terrific night of action because it culminates with what could be one of the great fights of the last few years, not only this year, Juan Manuel Marquez defending his title against the great Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.

Freddie Roach: In closing I want to say that Mannyís in great shape and is I know that this is the most focused that Iíve ever seen him and donít miss this one.

Manny Pacquiao: First thank you to all my fans and thank you very much for the chance to talk to you today about the fight. I hope to see you at Mandalay Bay on March 15, itís going to be a good fight, donít miss it. Thanks.

Article posted on 08.03.2008

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