LAS VEGAS– Strength coach Angel Hernandez says four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez will be “a faster, stronger, better puncher” when he meets Manny Pacquiao for a fourth time on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand.
“If you thought that you saw a tremendous performance in November, then I can tell you that right now, already, he’s looking tremendously much sharper,” said Hernandez of Marquez, who lost by controversial majority decision to Pacquiao in November.
“He’s going to be a faster, stronger, better puncher this time. We feel like Marquez is going to be way, way better than he was the last time that he faced Pacquiao. He’s looking great. He’s going to be way faster and a way better puncher. So, definitely, he’s going to be better overall.”
Hernandez had been widely known to have a history of being involved in performance enhancing activities, having gone by his real name, Angel Heredia, in May of 2008 when he testified in a San Francisco Court that he supplied former track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery with illegal substances.
A graduate of Texas A&M’s exercise science program, Hernandez never was convicted of any crimes, although he admitted to giving the blood-booster EPO, growth hormone and insulin to Jones in 2000 at the request of her then-coach Trevor Graham, who was on trial. Heredia also sold banned substances to Montgomery.
Hernandez sparked controversy with his presence in the camp of Marquez prior to their November bout, for which he insists that his state of the art techniques helped Marquez to gain strength and weight for Pacquiao.
Hernandez was hired by Marquez in order to achieve better results than he did in his welterweight debut, a one-sided unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September of 2009.
Marquez’s fourth opportunity against Pacquiao follows a draw and a split-decision loss in two previous match ups with him.
“I believe that Marquez, in November, he fought well, but looking back, he realizes that there were a few opportunities where he could have finished him off. I think that he hesitated a little bit at the time. But this time, it’s going to be different, because he knows that we have done really good preparation for this fight,” said Heredia.
“Marquez and Pacquiao had some very interesting and tremendous fights in the past, and I felt that in November, it was a very unfair decision. Personally, in my opinion, I felt that Marquez won the fight. Marquez felt that way, and so did a lot of people. So, it’s sort of creates a very good promotion.”
Pacquiao chose to face Marquez again rather than a rematch Tim Bradley, who dethroned Pacquiao by controversial split-decision in June for the WBO’s 147-pound belt, ending Pacquiao’s 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Marquez, who turned 39 in August, rebounded from the loss to Pacquiao with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s junior welterweight belt.
“It’s hard to predict what will happen, because Pacquiao is a very good fighter. He’s a rock and he is like a rocket and it’s very hard for anybody to knock him out,” said Heredia.
“But my prediction is that it’s going to be another war, and that this time Marquez will show the world that he will win this time. I know that my guy will take it. So we’re very much looking forward to it.”
Photo by Chris Robinson
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]