Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez's epic fourth fight is at the center of attention in the boxing world, and experts far and wide are weighing in on what will be the final bout between these two rivals.
Pac-Man and Dinamita have become well-acquainted with each other during their first three fights, and it is going to take a spectacular effort from one of the two in order to win this fight convincingly.
This is what the experts have to say about which fighter will make that effort.
Pacquiao's trainer has made arguably the most controversial statements thus far, not only saying that Pac-Man is at his best, but also accusing Marquez of taking PEDs (via BadLeftHook.com)
We've had a very good camp, he's very focused. We cut down on the Bible study a little bit, and we've got more focus on the training. He's in a good place right now. No distractions. He and the family are getting along great. He's cut out everything bad in his life. He's giving me the fire I want. I told him, I said, 'Manny, I'll give you $1,000 every time you knock a sparring partner down.' I owe him $4,000 right now. He won't take it, but I just wanted to motivate him to do that, because we haven't had knockdowns in sparring since the Cotto fight. It's been a long time coming. His focus is a lot better than it's been, and I think Marquez is going to have a lot of trouble with this Manny Pacquiao. This is what I expected him to be in the third fight, but we had some problems going into that in the last week, personal problems and so forth. His focus wasn't quite there. I don't see that happening this time. You're going to get the real Manny Pacquiao.
Everyone says that we're on steroids. Now he's way bigger than us. It doesn't look natural. He built that muscle quite quickly. He has a controversial strength and conditioning coach. And, you know, I think if we got rid of all the strength and conditioning coaches in the world, they're all way overrated and they're b******t, we got rid of all of them, we would have no drugs in boxing.
Not only is Roach making bold claims about his fighter, he's also making claims about Marquez.
This could turn into a verbal war in the coming days, as this is a very serious accusation. It is only going to add to the controversy surrounding this fight, and if Marquez wins we could hear these statements repeated quite a few times.
Marquez's trainer is taking a very different approach, simply going about his business and giving a lot of politically correct answers.
Freddie is a terrific trainer. After Emanuel Steward he is the number one trainer. It is difficult to find a trainer who works as hard as he does.
I think like Juan — that everybody wanted this fight. This is the fourth time they will be fighting and I think it’s going to be a sensational fight. Juan is the most difficult fighter that Manny Pacquiao has ever faced. This fight will have more people around the world watching than any other fight out there.
However, no interview would be complete without a bit of trash talk.
All of the fights are different. I am expecting a great Manny Pacquiao and of course we are going to dominate the fight and we are going to beat him again.
Beristain is not even close to the level of controversy that Roach has surpassed, and it will be interesting to see if these comments escalate after the PED use accusation.
The biggest and most well-known person to weigh in on the fourth and final bout is WBC President for Life, Jose Sulaiman.
Sulaiman held nothing back when talking about the fight, and I think his quotes say it all (via Yahoo!)
The fourth version of Manny Pacquiao-Marquez is a fight without importance.
It's a fight without a championship at stake. It's a fight that's only interesting for those in the Philippines and Mexico — nobody else in the world cares. It's a fight where the sole purpose is to fill a date, and that's all.
I would love to [sanction the bout]. It would be historic because, if Juan Manuel Marquez wins, it would be the first time a Mexican wins it and if Pacquiao wins, he'd be the first to win it two times. Also, they definitely fit the requirement that only elite fighters could compete for the belt — both are elite boxers.
It's about a business decision. The promoters have the decks stacked in their favor. They do what they want ... that's boxing in that climate, there in Las Vegas. It's true that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has a certain animosity toward Mexican fighters, but they [the Mexican fighters] don't do anything about it. They keep going over there like dolts, without establishing any terms or conditions.
Please, tell us how you really feel.
Of course, don't forget about the chance to sit alongside Mike Tyson at the fight. Just bid and you can help charity and sit with one of the greatest of all time.
Only two days left to bid on the awesome opportunity to sit ringside with me at the Pacquiao/Marquez fight! Bid now at charitybuzz.com— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) November 27, 2012
I'd say it's probably worth it.