The Sweet Science
Viewers were asked to ponder the eight years that have passed since eternal rivals Mann Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez first met, in the HBO Pacquiao-Marquez IV 24/7 finale on Friday night.
To open the docu-mercial, we see Pacquiao and crew running, less than a week before fight night. At the Wild Card, the Pacman workout is being filmed, and streamed. Rob Peters, Manny's head of security, says keeping people out isn't easy. Mark Wahlberg, Evander Holyfield, Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller make the cut, of course. We see Mrs. Pacquiao, Jinkee, and Manny's dad, making a rare trip to the US. Pacquiao keeps focus throughout all this, and there isn't divorce drama, as there was before the third tangle, the narrator and Freddie Roach tell us.
In Mexico City, at the Romanza, Marquez says he's happy the fight is close. His shoulder muscles draw my attention, they are so bulbuous. Trainer Nacho Beristain tells JMM to keep throwing, even if the combos aren't landing. "I have faith that we have done our jobs well and that we deserve to win," the sage says.
Marquez hits the premiere of a documentary on his life, on a red carpet.
Pacman is seen playing darts, and we hear that there is less Bible, and more fun, in this camp. Advisor Michael Koncz is sifting through ticket freebies, which will total more than $1 million worth of tix. Usually Manny does it, but he got halfway through and handed off the task.
Then, Marquez goes to the airport, to fly to LA for promo stuff. Son Aldo says he's nervous, but would like to go the fight, but dad won't allow it. The Marquez jet is grounded and we found out that the tires could have blown at altitude. He gets another plane and makes it to LA. A limo driver with a sign reading "Pop Rank" greets the party.
Pacman's Jack Russell is seen. The doggie goes everywhere with Manny. The fighter works out at Wild Card, does four rounds of sparring and then four rounds of mitts. No photos or videos are permitted during sparring, so Team Marquez can't scout off that. Roach says Manny is happy, and hitting very hard. The team bus is loaded up for the drive to Vegas.
Marquez is seen doing interviews. Then, he boards a plane to fly to Vegas.
Pacman and company go to the Mandalay Bay; he is on the 60th floor. Manny makes sure there is enough food for 100 people, looking out for his crew, from an in-room buffet.
At the Nevada Athletic Commission, they print out the scorecards. Keith Kizer talks about who will judge the fourth tangle. He says he evaluates all his judges, all the time. The executive director submits names to each camp, which can weigh in. Adalaide Byrd, Steve Weisfeld and England's John Keane get the call this time. Byrd worked Pacquiao-Cotto, and saw Manny a 109-99 victor, and also Pacquiao-De La Hoya. Neither Weisfeld nor Keane has worked a Pacquiao bout. Weisfeld saw Marquez 118-110 winner in the Mexican's last fight, while Byrd worked Marquez-Katsidis in 2010, and Marquez-Victor Polo in 2005. No friends, you will not have perennials Duane Ford, Jerry Roth or Dave Moretti to agree with or kick around come Saturday evening. I don't believe I have ever taken issue with a Weisfeld card, by the way.
Marquez and Pacman cross paths at a Vegas track. They eye each other, then Pacman leaves. Beristain says he knows Roach is a formidable trainer.
Pacman hits pads with Roach, and the trainer gives him a pep talk. Roach says if he sees a decline in his skills he might ask him to retire. "I don't want Manny to be one of those guys that is fighting for money," he says. That'll be hard but he thinks Manny wants to become President, so there are still goals to meet if he can't pull the trigger versus Marquez, and Freddie counsels him to exit. (Do you find it interesting that Freddie even broaches the subject? Does this indicate that he has seen in recent fights, or in this camp, that the boxer has slipped? I haven't heard him say that, have you?)
We see the fighters at the final presser.
Then, the wrapup. The narrator talks about the eight years that have passed since they first met. Earnings and fame and difficulties have grown. Both need a win, it is said, for them to get to the next chapter of life.