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Manny Pacquiao: "No Excuses"

Manny Pacquiao strikes a pose during the official weigh-in for his welterweight bout against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

“I want people who watch this fight to be satisfied. I don’t care about a belt and I don’t care about the money – I want to win in style.”- Manny Pacquiao

Juan Manuel Marquez better watch out. Manny Pacquiao is going to put the hurt tonight. But that will only happen if the Filipino boxing superstar is in top shape and true to his pronouncements.

We may say, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have fought for 36 rounds before, and the Filipino fighter managed to put the Mexican down four times but failed to finish him off; what else is new this time around?

For a change, the news that came out of his training camp was nothing but positive, encouraging and spectacular. They say that Manny Pacquiao is very focused and has worked very hard for this fight. Gone are the usual distractions: the booze, the gambling, the women and the late nights. They advertised that the fire in his belly is back and that he has knocked down several sparring partners this time around, a fact that has not been seen in his training camp since his preparation for the Miguel Cotto fight as proof.

Yet amid all these pronouncements and press releases, many of us remain skeptical since we all have heard this kind of news before, and we all have read this kind of script before, and we all have seen this kind of movie before.

Truth is, Manny Pacquiao has not been the same fighter inside the ring ever since he showed mercy on a bloodied Miguel Cotto in 2009. He then went out and had fun with Joshua Clottey and made mince-meat of Antonio Margarito a year later. And in 2011, instead of fighting, Manny Pacquiao engaged Shane Mosley in a 'touched-gloved' diplomacy and did not take Juan Manuel Marquez seriously in their trilogy.

And last June, Manny Pacquiao cruised and sleepwalked on Timothy Bradley, which he could have easily taken care of if he only cared enough to push for a stoppage. And so Manny Pacquiao paid the price for his lackluster performance by eventually losing the said fight albeit a controversial one.

Yes, Manny Pacquiao has been shamed and humbled by the Bradley debacle. And he is on a mission to bounce back and show the boxing world that he can still be a fireball inside the ring.

Yes, despite his age and the wear and tear, Manny Pacquiao wants to prove that he can still be the 'Typhoon from the Pacific' who can unleash a storm against his opponent. Yes, Manny Pacquiao wants to silence his critics and convince the skeptics and regain the stature that made him one of the most loved, if not the best fighter of his era.

Manny Pacquiao states that tonight, there will be "no doubts this time" when he hammers the final nail on the coffin on the Juan Manuel Marquez question.

However, all these talks about Manny Pacquiao's exploits in training camp would not matter if on fight night, Manny Pacquiao fails to deliver. All these press releases to be the 'old' Manny Pacquiao and knock out Juan Manuel Marquez will be for naught if he fails to pull the trigger.

So, if Manny Pacquiao hopes to 'win in style', then all he has to do is bear in mind that old famous Nike slogan, "Just Do It."

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