Marquez's days are numbered

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 03 2012 02:44 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2012 10:44 PM

HOLLYWOOD – The days of Juan Manuel Marquez are numbered if that’s what Manny Pacquiao tried to say Saturday at the Wild Card Gym here.

“There’s an expiration date,” said Pacquiao after wrapping up another weekend session just days away from his awaited showdown with Marquez.

It was a cloudy day with some afternoon drizzle when Pacquiao, out to reestablish himself as the most exciting fighter in the planet, sparred six rounds.

Then he went through the normal stuff which is only normal for super athletes like him. The session was over after more than two hours even if he wanted more.

Pacquiao looked happy with his form. Twice he changed shirts while cooling down inside the ring, and faced the mirrored wall to flex his muscles.

He faked the Bruce Lee moves, and left the gym holding on to a Bruce Lee DVD.

“I’m a hundred percent ready,” said Pacquiao as he emerged from the dressing room no bigger than the walk-in closet of his gray mansion here in LA.

“Maintain na lang,” Pacquiao, coming off a bitter loss to Tim Bradley last June, said as fans gathered around him and had pictures taken with the boxing icon.

Pacquiao said this should be his last fight with Marquez, who at 39 may be too old to be thinking of another fight with the Filipino boxing sensation.

In Friday’s third episode of HBO’s hit series 24/7 Pacquiao vs Marquez 4, it was mentioned that Marquez’ days inside the ring may soon be over.

But don’t tell that to the Mexican, perhaps the best counterpuncher in the sport today.

Marquez appeared to be in great shape as well, doing things he’d never done before in training. He used to drink his own urine because he said it made him stronger.

Now he’s more into weights, more into bodybuilding, and is now into an ancient Arabic-Chinese therapy called “cupping or fire cups.”

In the four-part HBO series, he was shown lifting barbells like he can throw it out of the building.

He looks tough. He is tough.

“Marquez works hard. He’s a hard worker, too,” said Pacquiao as he killed insinuations that his favorite Mexican rival is into performance-enhancing drugs or PEDs.

Marquez said he’s all set to take on Pacquiao for the fourth time since they first waged war in May 2004 when he went down thrice in the opening round but dominated most of the way to salvage a draw.

It was a controversial draw because one of the judges erred in scoring the first round. Pacquiao would have won by a point if that judge called it the way he should have.

Two more fights later, Marquez is back to challenge Pacquiao, still in search of the elusive victory.

“I agree with those who say I won the three fights,” said Marquez.

He badly wants the victory because perhaps he wants a fifth fight with Pacquiao.

But it’s not going to happen if you listen to Pacquiao.

“May expiration date,” he said.