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Arum wary of Marquez’ style

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MANILA, Philippines - Top Rank chairman Bob Arum knows that WBO welterweight champion Rep. Manny Pacquiao won’t take challenger Juan Manuel Marquez lightly because the Mexican’s style is tailor-fit to negate the Filipino icon’s strengths.

“I think Marquez is a big test for Manny,” said Arum from Los Angeles in a recent telephone interview. “Manny is aware of that. Their first two fights were close. Manny has to be at his best to win over Marquez.”

Pacquiao and Marquez are set to slug it out at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 12. At stake will be Pacquiao’s WBO 147-pound title although the fighters agreed to face off at a catchweight of 144 considering Marquez is moving up from the lightweight division. Marquez is the reigning WBC 135-pound titlist.

Arum said an extensive media tour to announce the Pacquiao-Marquez fight will start in Manila in late August or early September with the involved parties attending each stop.

“We’ll all be in Manila – Marquez, Freddie Roach, (Nacho) Beristain,” said Arum. “Manila is the first leg. We’re going all over to promote this fight. This will be competitive. Manny will go all out to destroy Marquez’ defense which is quite good. I think you’ll see Manny show his old fire and fury against Marquez who’s not going to back down. I expect Manny to throw his best punches.”

Marquez has repeatedly claimed he was robbed of victory in his two fights against Pacquiao. The first ended in a split draw even as the Mexican went down thrice in the opening round. The outcome should’ve been a win by split decision for Pacquiao but judge Burt Clements erred in scoring the first round 10-7 instead of 10-6. The second was another close encounter with Pacquiao eking out a split 12-round verdict on the strength of decking Marquez once in the third.

Arum dismissed the notion that Pacquiao has lost his killer’s instinct since his last three fights went the distance with Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito and Sugar Shane Mosley.

“Manny doesn’t want to rain more punishment on an opponent when he sees that he has no chance of winning,” said Arum. “When he sees an opponent decisively beaten, he looks for the fight to be stopped. I think it’s a good thing that he can be compassionate.”

Arum, however, said if Pacquiao is up against an opponent who’s fighting back, he’ll be as ferocious as he was in disposing of Ricky Hatton and his other knockout victims.

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