(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao feels that he’s ready to take on Juan Manuel Marquez and that he can easily beat the reigning World Boxing Council super-featherweight champion from Mexico.

“I can take him easily,” said the Filipino superstar who watched yesterday’s title fight between Marquez and American challenger Rocky Juarez (Related story right column)

Pacquiao watched the fight, held in Tucson, Arizona, in the comforts of his Gen. Santos City mansion, but he had to be taken to the hospital afterwards because of a terrible cough.

Marquez scored a lopsided decision over Juarez in the first defense of the 130 lb title he snatched from Marco Antonio Barrera last March. He was impressive in the eyes of the judges.

Not Pacquiao’s.

“Not impressive. He was slow and had no real power,” Pacquiao told Ronnie Nathanielsz of Viva Sports in a phone interview that was cut short by the boxer’s continuous coughing.

Pacquiao, 28, noted that Marquez simply couldn’t “take out” the smaller Juarez despite connecting with solid right hands and a few flurries in the closing rounds.

Golden Boy, which shares the promotional rights over Pacquiao with Top Rank, has even set a date, March 15, for the big rematch which should be held in Las Vegas.

“Marquez-Pacquiao is the logical fight. It is the fight that has to be made,” Golden Boy big boss Oscar dela Hoya was quoted as saying yesterday.

There’s unfinished business between the two fighters who figured in a controversial draw in 2004 in Las Vegas.

A report that came out in The Arizona Republic said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer talked to Top Rank president Bob Arum about the date for the rematch.

Jose Sulaiman, president of the WBC, is also pushing for a Pacquiao-Marquez rematch, even saying that the Filipino cannot be considered “the best” until he beats the Mexican champ.

But nothing is certain as Pacquiao is keeping all windows open, including one where moving to the lightweight class (135 lbs), and taking a shot at WBC titlist David Diaz is being considered.

Marquez trims Juarez, wants Pacquiao next Monday, November 5, 2007

(STAR) TUCSON, Arizona – Juan Manuel Marquez defended his World Boxing Council super featherweight title with a 12-round decision over Rocky Juarez at the Desert Diamond Casino here on Saturday.

Marquez, who suffered a hand injury in training which led to a postponement, won on all three judges scorecards, 118-110, 117-111, 120-108.

Marquez (48-3-1 35 KOs) is hoping his victory leads to a rematch with Filipino fireball Manny Pacquiao.

Juarez (27-4, 19 KOs) suffered a cut over his left eye in the first round and couldn’t stop the bleeding for the entire fight. Juarez won the silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

“I had great preparation for this fight,” Marquez said. “I have worked very hard for four months, and now I want Manny Pacquiao, but he doesn’t want to fight me.”

The 27-year-old American Juarez suffered his third loss in five fights.

“This is the first fight that I got cut and had blurred vision because of it,” Juarez said. “I knew from the second when we bumped heads that it was going to be bad.

“Never at one point did I want to stop the fight. The cut did affect me though, because it throws off your game plan. You’re worried about knocking heads again, so it limits your strategy.”

Marquez defeated Mexican compatriot Marco Antonio Barrera in March to claim the crown.

Pacquiao sent Marquez to the canvas three times in the first round of their 2004 bout but had to settle for a draw.

On the undercard, IBF world featherweight champion Robert Guerrero scored a first round knockout of Martin Honorio.

Guerrero connected with a straight left that put Honorio on the canvas after just 56 seconds. (AFP)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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