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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Marquez no featherweight talent-wise

Carlos Arias Orange County Register

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Juan Manuel Marquez has been fuming ever since the news conference to announce his fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Marquez, the holder of the WBA and IBF featherweight title belts, took it as a slap in the face when Pacquiao started talking about facing Erik Morales this summer if he gets past Marquez.

“If he’s talking about it, that’s fine,” said Marquez, who clearly wasn’t feeling fine about it. “The only one I’m thinking about is Manny. He better be thinking about me.”

Marquez (42-2, 33 KOs) defends his WBA and IBF 126-pound titles against Pacquiao (38-2-1, 30 KOs) tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (HBO, 6:45 p.m.).

Pacquiao, who scored a devastating 11th-round TKO over Marco Antonio Barrera on Nov. 15, has a deal in place to fight Morales for Morales’ WBC super-featherweight title July 31. Marquez is considered one of the best technicians in the featherweight division and he packs a punch, so a victory or a huge payday against Morales is no guarantee for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said he believes Marquez poses a more serious threat to Pacquiao than Morales because of Marquez’s patient, counterpunching style.

“Marquez is the tougher fight,” Roach said.

Marquez lost on a disqualification in his pro debut, then won 29 consecutive fights to climb to the top of the WBO and WBA 126-pound rankings.

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