MARQUEZ MAKES SPECIAL VISIT TO LAREDO; REITERATES HE WILL KNOCK OUT PACQUIAO
By Dr. Allan Recto
02 Nov 2012
(Left –Right): Juan Eduardo Guerra, a promoter, Dr. Allan Recto, Juan Manuel Marquez & Raul De Anda during Team Marquez arrival in Nuevo Laredo International Airport.
Laredo, Texas (Nov. 1, 2012) – Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez took time-off from his busy training schedule to visit this South Texas border city, accompanied by his PR manager Roberto Solis and Asst. trainer Raul De Anda. Marquez arrived past noon today at the Nuevo Laredo Airport. Although the promoters knew my sentiments are with Team Pacquiao, I was cordially invited to participate in the entourage that picked him up. Marquez recognized me immediately and remained cordial, sometimes even joking in regards to me being with Team Pacquiao.
On the way to Laredo, while crossing the border, US Customs and Border Protection agents requested a photo opportunity with Marquez who obliged despite being visibly tired. The convoy of 3 vehicles then proceeded to the 1st scheduled event (11:30 am – 1 pm) at the Uni-trade Stadium for a luncheon in his honor, where Marquez was greeted by Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, County Commissioner Jaime Canales and Webb County Judge Danny Valdez. At 1:45 pm, the Webb County Commissioners Court presented him with an award recognizing him for his accomplishments in his boxing career, becoming a 4 Division World Champion, winning 7 World Titles in 4 weight classes, as stated in the plaque given to him.
When I asked local Laredo promoter Victor Estrada why bring Marquez to Laredo, he replied, “We are bringing Marquez to do social functions and he also wants to share about his life experiences as a young boy with the troubled youths. He wants to help them get rid of the bad influences and expose those kids to the gyms in our community for them to avoid trouble in the streets.”
PHOTOS BY DR ALLAN RECTO.
Marquez with CBP officials while crossing the U.S./Mexican border.
L-R: Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, Commissioner Jaime Canales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Judge Danny Valdez in Uni-trade Stadium.
Marquez speaking to Teachers and Students at S. Lara Academy gym in Laredo, Texas.
Marquez signs Cleto Reyes professional gloves at Laredo Civic Center Ballroom during “Noche de Fiestas” Dinner.
Mid-afternoon, we proceeded to visit 2 schools in Laredo that deal with troubled youths ages 11-18 years in 6th to 12th grades from the STEP Academy and S. Lara Academy. The schools deal with students who are involved in class disruptions, fights, or are caught with drugs or under the influence. Marquez spoke passionately about his childhood experiences growing up. Marquez stated, “I hope you will follow the correct path and become productive members of society. I was once your age and I could have easily chosen the wrong path in life, but I learned to focus and avoid negative obstacle in order to reach my goals.” He also added, “Listen to your parents and don’t misbehave.”
During one of his school appearances, Marquez granted me a brief interview, this is what he had to say:
Dr. Recto: “What brings you to Laredo?”
Juan Manuel Marquez: “To help give good advice to the youth.”
DR: “How do you feel about your December 8th fight against Manny Pacquiao?”
JMM: “I am happy with the good preparation. We should be training now and as soon as we go back to Mexico later today, we will proceed with training.”
DR: Do you have any message for Manny Pacquiao?”
JMM: “Tell Pacquiao to train very hard because I am training very hard.”
DR: “What changes have you done in your preparation for this fight that that is different from your previous 3 fights with him?”
JMM: “I don’t know, but, I am going for a knockout!”
Afterwards, I departed from their company while Marquez rested at a local hotel. At 6:30 pm, I attended the “Noche de Fiesta” dinner event at the Laredo Civic Center Ballroom where a huge reception of almost 1,000 people & sponsors gathered for a chance to meet the Mexican boxing legend. The city of Laredo officials headed by Mayor Salinas, bestowed Marquez with the honorary title of President of the Republic of the Rio Grande, a special recognition given to certain individuals as Ambassors of Goodwill.
During his acceptance speech, he informed everyone that he knows the past 3 fights with Manny Pacquiao were close and controversial and hopes that in this fourth fight, the outcome will be different. He said, “I will not leave it to judges to decide, I will go for the knockout.” The crowd cheered wildly after Marquez made such a bold statement.
There were some people in the audience who know of my association with Team Pacquiao and proceeded to ask when Congressman Pacquiao will visit Laredo to which I remarked, “I hope someday soon.” As of this writing, Pacquiao is aware of Marquez visit to Laredo.
Marquez was gracious enough to sign items handed to him. He signed boxing gloves including the ones with Pacquiao's signature to which this writer will be donating to the following charitable events in Laredo. On November 17th, there will be the Laredo Asian Association's Night, where a set of gloves will be raffled. The proceeds will be used for Scholarships for deserving students. On November 19th, a second pair will be auctioned at the Inaugural MHCS Golf Classic and the proceeds will benefit 8th grade students at Mary Help of Christians School in their traditional Educational Field trip to Washington in 2013.
As the evening came to a close, Marquez and his Team left Laredo to catch their Aero Mexico flight back to Mexico City where he will continue his preparations for the December 8th fight with Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao. It is this writer’s opinion that he succeeded in generating interest from the people of Laredo to tune in to their much awaited encounter - “Pacquiao/Marquez 4.”
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