MANILA, Philippines -- Rivals Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez had widely different opinions about their March 2008 rematch, which the Filipino superstar won via a highly controversial split decision.
The rematch came four years after their first encounter, which ended in a draw despite Pacquiao knocking down Marquez three times in the opening round.
"I was looking forward to my rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez. Our first fight had been exciting, and even though it took a few years for Marquez to finally accept a rematch with me, the fans seemed happy to see it too," Pacquiao said in a statement released to Bad Left Hook.
In a separate press release to Bad Left Hook, Marquez said the second fight was the "closest of our trilogy."
"It was a very hard-fought fight and much more exciting than the first one," he said.
Marquez said he immediately noticed that Pacquiao was a different fighter from the one who fought in 2004.
"He was not as aggressive as he had been in the first fight. He seemed to have become a more complete and certainly a much better all-around fighter," the Mexican said, adding that Pacquiao was now a "two-fisted" boxer.
In the third round, Pacquiao sent Marquez to the canvas.
"After I scored the knockdown... I went back to my corner thinking I would finish him in the next round. (Trainer) Freddie Roach told me, 'We have him right where we want him. Finish it,'" Pacquiao related.
But Marquez said he was not hurt by the knockdown.
"I felt that I was hurting him which made me more confident," he explained. "I became a little more aggressive and it cost me as I caught a left hand and went down."
"I was angry at myself, but I was not hurt," he added.
Pacquiao said that after the eighth round, Roach advised him to pick up the pace as the bout was getting too close.
"I stopped counter-punching in those last four (rounds) and attacked him constantly... Freddie's advice was right and I thought it was a clear victory for me," Pacquiao said.
"I won those last four rounds."
Marquez, however, insisted that "the last six rounds were very competitive."
"I felt he was trying very hard and I was able to counter him very effectively. I was landing a lot of right hands, and I knew I had the fight won," he added.
Unfortunately for Marquez, Pacquiao got the judges' nod, something "Dinamita" remains angry about until now.
"Once again, the judges took my victory away," he said. "I still get very angry when I think about hearing those scores being read."
Marquez would lose to Pacquiao again in their trilogy bout in November 2011, this time by majority decision.
The two rivals will battle for the fourth time on December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.