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Boxing’s No. 1 pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (center) speaks to the media in New York on Sept. 6.  (Filipino Reporter photo by Rene Ner)

 

Juan Manuel Marquez is a giant puzzle to Manny Pacquiao, and on Nov. 12 the Filipino boxing icon will try to put all the pieces together.

After 24 rounds and four knockdowns in two fights, Pacquiao and Marquez meet each other in the ring for the third and probably the last time.

Pacquiao is going for a convincing victory, one that should put to rest all the questions as to who really won their first two fights in 2004 and 2008.

A controversial draw and a very debatable split decision for Pacquiao led to this third fight, a trilogy that should easily rank among the great ones.

Chief promoter Bob Arum was Marquez promoter during the first fight, and had Pacquiao by his hand in the second.

Now he promotes both.

“It’s a tough one to call,” was how the ageless promoter described the fight during Tuesday’s second leg of the ongoing press tour.

A horde of screaming fans, which stood way back from the stage, cheered the fighters on stage at the Chelsea Piers on a rainy, rainy day in New York.


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Fans of Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez gather at their New York press conference on Sept. 6.  (Filipino Reporter photo by Rene Ner)


“Juan Manuel Marquez presents a puzzle to Manny Pacquiao,” said the Top Rank chief during the presscon that got going with a duet from Pacquiao and Dan Hill.

“The truth is he hasn’t solved the puzzle in 24 rounds. That puzzle is that in our opinion Juan Manuel is the greatest counter-puncher in boxing today.”

And probably the greatest counter-puncher “over the last 30 years.”

Pacquiao is one fighter who keeps pushing and doesn’t know when to stop, always willing to take the punch just to get the big ones in.

But against Marquez, sometimes it just doesn’t work.

In both fights, Pacquiao got hit up to the point like he was on the losing end.

“Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter who comes forward and therefore Juan Manuel’s style is the perfect answer to Manny Pacquiao,” said Arum.

“So I am looking forward to this fight as another classic.”

Pacquiao and Marquez again stood close to one another in the stage it was impossible to say they enjoyed each other’s company.

There was no ribbing between them, very little exchange of words, if they ever did, and they shook hands only once to signal the end of the presscon.

At the City Gate Studio in New York, they spent a long time together, even sharing a room as they had their faces made up for a official HBO photo shoot.

Pacquiao and Marquez, inside one small room, were just chairs apart, and yet they never spoke.

Pacquiao was asked if there was something to it.

Understandably, there was no answer.


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Superstar Manny Pacquiao (left) and three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez during the press conference at the Chelsea Piers in New York on Sept. 6.  (Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank)