Day No. 1 of the Manny Pacquiao - Juan Manuel Marquez III 25,000-mile international media tour.
México’s three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez and Hall of promoter Bob Arum received an incredible media welcome when they arrived at Manilla's Ninoy Aquino International Airport on September 1.
Despite the early hour – 5:30 a.m. – 12 TV crews plus reporters and photographers from various other international outlets and fans greeted them for 30 minutes of interviews. That was followed by a live 20-minute interview at 6:15 a.m. on the morning show on GMA, one of the top TV networks in the Philippines.
Much to everyone’s pleasant surprise, Marquez has insisted on doing all his interviews in English, further endearing him to the Filipino fight fans and media alike.
After checking into the historic and elegant Hotel Manila, which celebrates its centennial next year, and doing more interviews there, Marquez and Hall of fame trainer Nacho Beristain went across the street to the Quirino Grandstand for a 30-minute run. Highlights of his run were broadcast on all the afternoon and evening TV newscasts.
Marquez and Arum were invited to visit with The Honorable Alfredo S. Lim, Mayor, City of Manila. Upon the motorcade’s entrance into the outdoor plaza of the Mayor’s compound, a 100-piece band played “The People” – a national song – followed by a rousing rendition of “Tijuana Taxi,” made famous by Herb Albert’s Tijuana Brass.
Before entering the Mayor’s office building, Marquez made his way through the throng of fans to personally thank the band. Marquez and Arum then had a chat in Mayor Slim’s office, followed by a public ceremony where Mayor Slim presented Marquez and Arum with the keys to the city.
“I am happy to be here. This is my second time visiting Manila,” said Marquez. “I love the Filipino fight fans and I am happy I got this opportunity, not just to fight Manny Pacquiao again but because I get to return to Manila. Everyone has made me feel at home. I will be training in the mountains for this fight. This is a very important fight to me and I know it will not be easy to win it.”
More activities are on tap for Marquez and Arum on Friday, including a courtesy call to the Mexican Embassy and the first meeting of the media tour between Manny Pacquiao and Marquez at a private dinner hosted by Solar Entertainment.