[PHOTO - DE LA HOYA VISIT Retired Mexican-American boxer Oscar De La Hoya (left) gestures while talking to a smiling Manny Pacquiao (second from right) during his visit to the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. At right is Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. (Photo by NICK GIONGCO)]

LAS VEGAS, NOVEMBER 9, 2011 (BULLETIN) By NICK GIONGCO— Oscar De La Hoya dropped by on the last day of Manny Pacquiao’s training Tuesday and predicted that the Filipino will score a smashing victory this Saturday night against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand.

“Manny is now too fast and too strong,” the now-retired De La Hoya told Manila-based scribes at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

“I was telling an expert in boxing who knows the style and I told him that Manny is now in a whole different level,” said the “Golden Boy,” who announced his retirement two months after being stopped by Pacquiao on Dec. 6, 2008.

De La Hoya pointed out that while Marquez has been facing “ordinary fighters,” the 32-year-old Pacquiao has been taking out guys who are naturally bigger.

“Manny has been fighting Shane Mosley, myself, Miguel Cotto and that could be the difference.”

De La Hoya said two other factors will work against Marquez.

“I think age will come into play,” said De La Hoya, noting that Marquez is already 38 years old. “And the fact that Marquez came up in weight too fast because you can’t do that in only one fight and face Pacquiao.”

Marquez bulked up with the help of a nutritionist and conditioning coach in the last two months and his rapid weight gain might backfire, De La Hoya said.

Still, De La Hoya cautioned Pacquiao not to take Marquez lightly.

“Manny has to be very careful with his style. Marquez’s style can be complicated for Manny.”

Despite what De La Hoya and lot of experts are saying, Pacquiao remains the overwhelming choice among bettors.

Pacquiao has grown to a 9-1 betting favorite after opening at 8-1 two months ago.

Oddsmakers have also installed Pacquiao as - 400 to win by knockout and -300 by decision, meaning a $400 wager on a Pacquiao KO will only get $100 and a Pacquiao $300 bet on a decision will only win $100.

Even the knockout round proposition is so lopsided that a Pacquiao victory in rounds one, two and three has a line of 10-1, while a Marquez wager on a knockout victory in rounds one up to five is 40-1.

Pacquiao ready to silence MarquezBy NICK GIONGCONovember 8, 2011, 3:50am BULLETIN

LOS ANGELES — Manny Pacquiao will put on a show for force this weekend in Las Vegas that the clause that calls for a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 will no longer be exercised.

As a safety net, Pacquiao’s team wisely inserted an immediate rematch clause to the fight contract in the event Marquez scores an upset when they clash Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

The inclusion of that provision was made to protect Pacquiao’s interest owing to the uncertainties that often happen in the sport of boxing.

But Pacquiao is not looking forward to a fourth fight as he plans to pull off a win so convincing that ringsiders will be turned off at the mere mention of such a scenario.

Told about that clause in the contract, Pacquiao sounded as though he was slighted by its inclusion.

“We’ll see if he has anything more to show,” Pacquiao told Filipino writers inside his teeny-weenie dressing room after an intense workout.

Pacquiao and Marquez fought to a draw the first time in May 2004 and in the second meeting in March 2008, Pacquiao was awarded a split decision.

Marquez said he should have been declared winner on both occasions, something that has gotten under the skin of the usually calm and collected Pacquiao.

Pacquiao said he is using Marquez’s strong words as a motivation to finally silence him.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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