FOURTH FIGHT: Boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao (left) and Juan Manuel Marquez each hold up four fingers during a news conference in New York on Sept. 19. They are promoting their fourth fight, scheduled for Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.  (AP photo/Seth Wenig)

Contributed to the Filipino Reporter

This time around last year, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez were in the Big Apple as part of a worldwide promotional tour announcing their third fight for November of last year.

A fight that the Filipino fighter won albeit in controversial fashion, Pacquiao eked out a much debated majority decision win against his Mexican archrival.

Both fighters confidently expressed that they won that fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last year which divided the fans and followers of the sport.

Their third fight resolved no issue of who the better man is between the two legends of the ring.

Instead it left doubts in the minds of majority of the fans of the sport.

And so here we are again, a year after their last duel in the ring and 36 rounds later.

Pacquiao and Marquez once again faced off against each other last Wednesday at the New York leg of their three city press tour aimed at promoting their fourth fight on Dec. 8, 2012.

Both fighters expressed the same sentiment that they both need a decisive victory when they face each other for the fourth and final time this winter at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the same site of their last bout.

“I am looking forward to winning impressively and to make the fight as short as possible,” Pacquiao told the New York press at the Edison Ballroom in Times Square.

Pacquiao and his longtime trainer Freddie Roach verbalized the need to reassert themselves after figuring out in three close and equally controversial fights with Marquez.

“I’ve faced this man (Marquez) three times. I can’t figure Juan Manuel out. He’s one of the smartest fighters in the world,” admitted Roach, who will once again be faced with the task of solving the Marquez puzzle.

The Hall of Fame trainer intends to implement changes in his ward’s preparation for this fight. Both he and Pacquiao agreed they will spend their entire training camp in Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

The duo has been dividing their pre-fight preparations between Baguio City in the Philippines and Los Angeles since 2009.

A factor that Roach thinks is a reason for some of Pacquiao’s lackluster performance due to jetlag and other disturbances in camp that has affected his fighter.

Pacquiao not only agrees with his trainer’s suggestion but promised fans and media a better and more focused preparation and performance come December.

The Filipino superstar made his intentions clear that he wanted to win this fight convincingly.

He verbalized the need for him to knock out Marquez so as to erase any doubts on the minds and doubts of his opponents.

Fans and the boxing media have been questioning the Filipino star’s abilities of late.

He has not produced a knockout result in close to three years, has won unconvincingly against Marquez and, worse, lost his last fight and his welterweight belt to challenger Timothy Bradley last May.

A loss that majority in the sport did not agree to but still has produced criticisms that Pacquiao is not his old self anymore.

Pacquiao is aware of those criticisms.

That is why this fight with Marquez is a win that the Filipino star desperately needs and not something that he should just take for granted.

“I need the aggression that I had before, when I was 25 years old. I need that aggressiveness back in this fight,” said Pacquiao.

Marquez also stated that he needs to change something in the ring and in training for this upcoming fight, but not because he has something to prove to the sport and Pacquiao.

He insisted and believed that he won each of his last three bouts with his Filipino rival.

Marquez lost his second fight with Pacquiao via a split decision in 2008 and drew their first meeting back in 2004.

“I don’t need to prove anything because I won the last three fights!” exclaimed Marquez.

The Mexican pugilist is looking forward to put a period to this unending saga between him and Pacquiao.

He also is looking forward to a convincing victory when they square against each other again.

“This is the most important fight of my career,” stated Marquez, who plans to give it all when he climbs the ring on Dec. 8.

It will be for Pacquiao as well.

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