In Juan Manuel Marquez's training diary, the boxer offers an overview of his personal and professional preparation for his fight with Floyd Mayweather on Sept 19. Juan Manuel offers intimate details of his training camp in Mexico City, and opens the doors to his gym for a look at his intense daily routine.
We have finally arrived in Las Vegas. We arrived last night [Monday] and right now we're playing cards in the hotel room. In an hour or two, my team and I are going to do the red carpet thing, the official reception at the hotel.
On Saturday, we were in Los Angeles doing an open workout at Olvera Square. There was a great turnout; I was happy to see so many of my countrymen responding to this event and I was happy to feel their support.
In any case, my last strong training session was on Friday in Mexico City. I did six rounds of sparring and some gym work. That was my last day of true boxing training. On Saturday, I went out for a run, because we had our flight in the afternoon. I ran between 12 and 13 kilometers.
I'm already within the weight limit and I'm feeling comfortable. I never go on a diet; I haven't done that since I moved up from featherweight. I've been eating all kinds of things, everything healthy, but in large quantities. I don't believe I will be putting too much weight on after the weigh-in, either. If I make 143, 144 pounds officially, then I will be carrying about 149, 150 into the ring, at the most [Both fighters are contracted to make 144 pounds at Friday's weigh-in]. I am not going to accumulate too much weight because I don't want to feel heavy for the fight.
As for the urine thing [drinking his own urine during training], this is something I have been doing for the past six or seven fights, and it has given me good results. That's why I have continued doing it. This is done through a doctor. First, you need to do a checkup in which the doctor checks your iris in your eyes. That's how he determines how healthy you are; then, he orders a body cleansing to expel all the toxins. After that, he orders the urine therapy. But first you undergo a month-long cleansing treatment for the entire body and once you do that, you are ready for urine therapy. Drinking urine is done in the morning and at night and I do it only during training, in order to feel right. But I feel like I should do it all my life, everyday, because it's very good. It's a technique that comes from many centuries ago. Many people used to do it, like in ancient Egypt, and it always yields good results. Right now I do it every time I have a fight, but it is necessary to make it a life-long commitment. It's like a natural medicine, and it's free, because your body gives it to you.
Every time I drink my urine, it is as if I was taking vitamins, but the kind of vitamins that give me more power and more strength than the ones that you can buy at a pharmacy. If you drink or inject yourself with vitamins, you release them every time you go to the bathroom. Why not put them back in your body orally?
In these last days of training, I am working very hard on my strategy with Nacho Beristain. I've known Nacho for about 22 years, and I believe he brings a lot of confidence to my corner. He knows a lot [about boxing] and the importance of having him in our corner is that he gives me a great sense of confidence and security.
I don't think you miss anything by having the same trainer all your life. You gain a lot of confidence when you work with the same trainer your entire career. I believe that it's a win-win situation, and it is also an important part of your mindset because the fighter that changes trainers all the time is not so sure about himself. We are confident and sure about ourselves, and I believe the same happens with Floyd Mayweather and his corner. I am sure they know what they're doing and that they are confident about their way of doing the job.
Logically, I had other trainers before Nacho. My father was the one who taught me first, but a little bit later I hooked up with Beristain, and I have been with him ever since, training at his gym all the time.
With my father, my relationship was very good, both as a father and as a trainer. Right now he has been told by the doctor to stay away from my corner because he gets too nervous, but it was he who initiated me and my brother into this sport and taught us everything. And if Floyd Mayweather has a lot of confidence in his uncle and his father, I think it's great for him.
Right now we're making a few adjustments to deal with Mayweather's style and adjusting our fight plan because he is a difficult fighter. But I have already fought guys like him. Freddie Norwood, for one, was a tough fighter that I faced when I was more of a rookie. I was not as mature back then [in 1999] as I am now. And then there was former Olympian Julian Wheeler, who I fought at the Forum [in Inglewood, Calif.]. He was a tall, lanky guy with long arms, very elusive and difficult. There was also Derrick Gainer, a very tall lefty with long arms. And many more. I believe everyone has his own style. Floyd Mayweather has his style, and he is quite difficult to adjust to, but I have won against fighters like him before and I think I know how to deal with him.
I also know that Mayweather talks a great deal, but that never worried me in any of my fights. I don't like to talk; I prefer to do my job up in the ring. There were others who talked too, like Joel Casamayor, who I fought back in September 2008. And he was all gabby, just talking, talking, talking all the time. But I am never worried about that. I will let him talk and say whatever he wants to say. I believe it's our fists that have to do all the talking on Sept. 19. I am not worried about anything; I am just waiting for the day to do my job, to let my fists talk to him in the ring.
These past few days have been quiet. I have been focused on my fight with Floyd Mayweather, thinking about what I am going to do in the ring. On Tuesday, I visited the Mexican national soccer team at their training facility. I gave them all my support ahead of their Wednesday match with Honduras, signed some autographs and gave them a pair of signed gloves.
I'm also doing light training, because I sparred eight intense rounds this morning. Now we're going to do some gym work and punch mitts.
Beyond training and supporting my team, I haven't done much. I am leaving it all in the gym.
There's been a lot of talk lately about Mayweather's rib injury from a few months ago, but I don't think it will affect him. I am sure he will be OK for the fight. We are expecting the best possible Floyd Mayweather come Sept. 19, even though he's been inactive for two years. I don't believe his retirement will affect him. I am training hard and I am still active. He was not active, but I believe he will be hungry to win this fight, just as I am.
I am going to come out and do my job. If he's still injured, so be it. I will be carrying out my plan. I am going to do my job in the ring; I am not going to limit myself to see whether he is injured or not to focus on his injury alone. I don't care where he is hurt. I am going to attack him with combinations. I'm not concerned about how he feels.
Mayweather is an aggressive fighter, but he has good defense, too. I believe that in the ring, everything will be different. We are ready for both his offense and his defense. I believe it will be a difficult fight as far as his style is concerned. His style is complicated and we are aware of the fact that we must leave everything in the ring.
I know that over the years, I have been cut and injured. I am not worried about the cuts or the injuries, because you never know what's going to happen. Instead of worrying about that, I must worry about not getting hit -- not even getting touched -- and so I will avoid cuts and headbutts. I must focus on lateral movement to avoid getting hit. I must focus on prevention instead of worrying about dealing with cuts during the fight.
Seeing the Mexican national soccer team and knowing that I will be fighting during a patriotic anniversary is an added motivation for me. Our national holidays are always special. The weekend of Sept. 19 is when we will be celebrating another anniversary of Mexican Independence, and this is important for the fans. The Mexican fans are always supportive. They never let you down, they are always there for you, and I believe that I have an additional motivation to bring even more joy to them on such an important day.
As my fight with Floyd Mayweather draws near, I'm doing more promotional activities. I do a lot of interviews with different media outlets. It doesn't affect my rest and I still don't do much more than go to the gym and train when I'm not resting.
I do the media interviews with pleasure. I am here for everyone, and doing these interviews does not take away too much time. Of course, I finish my training completely exhausted and when the time comes to take a shower, sometimes I say, "That's enough, take the phone off the hook, I need some time for myself." But in general it doesn't affect me. Besides, as they have pointed out many times, I am the first Mexican to be on HBO's "24/7," and it's a great honor to me. I try not to pay attention to it during training. I work out as though they weren't there at all, but deep inside I know it's a great honor to be the first Mexican to be featured on a show like that.
Outside the training and the interviews, I don't do much. I did have one big moment with my family on Aug. 23, which was my 36th birthday. It was on a Sunday. We had a quiet celebration, very few people, all family. We were at home on Saturday, and on Sunday we went to a restaurant owned by a friend to celebrate. It was something simple because we're very focused on the training for Sept. 19. This was one of the few things that I did aside from boxing, but nothing else.
Right now, I am thinking a lot about my strategy. What I need to do is use my intelligence and my boxing skills, which is what has gotten me this far. Speed is not a concern because I've been sparring with bigger gloves and when I use the smaller ones I see that I have great speed. But this doesn't worry me, and I know that by fight night I will be punching very hard and very fast.
If I win, I would love to have a third fight with Manny Pacquiao, of course. But right now we have a tremendous fight ahead of us. We're focused on that fight; right now, Manny Pacquiao doesn't exist to me.
This card has been called "Number One/Número Uno" because the winner may be seen as the best fighter in the world right now. And yes, this implies a little bit of pressure, but it also gives me a sense of responsibility to demonstrate that I am the best, to be able to show that I am No. 1. And why not? Why shouldn't I think that I can be No. 1? That's what I am training hard for, and that's what I am getting mentally ready for, to become número uno.
Winding down sparring
Everything is going well in training. I have been sparring with the same guys -- Norberto Norris and Alejando Barrera -- but now I spar on alternate days. One day I spar, the next day I rest, because I have been training for quite a long time and I want to avoid overtraining myself.
This new alternate-day routine applies only to sparring. Everything else is the same, but what I want to avoid now is to train too much because it's been five long, hard months and now I am limiting myself to a little bit less work. We're going to continue doing this throughout the next couple of weeks that we have left before the fight.
A few things have been said about my training regimen, but everything is fine. I haven't felt tired or worn out. On the contrary, I feel well about my body. But nevertheless we're training more relaxed as a precaution, to keep my body from being tired. We are going to alternate sparring sessions until the day of the fight. Today, for example, I am not training in the afternoon. I am using this day to go to the US Embassy. I have my appointment to get my visa.
In any case, I train all day, doing all kind of exercises in the ring. I'm training hard so that the speed comes along, because now we're going through a period that we call "the depression" because we have been training so hard for so long and now the body feels the crunch before it starts to recover and gaining strength again.
So there have been no problems with my muscles. My previous routine, my strength regimen, helped me a lot. It didn't tire me. All the strength exercises that we did were great. And this issue with the speed, well, I start gaining speed for every one of my fights about a week or two prior to the fight. At the moment I feel well. Physically, I am great, no problems. I know that I will be very fast in this fight.
As for the rest, I spend my days training and without any communication with the outside world. I don't even have an e-mail account. What I would like to do is have time to get one and learn how to use it, but I'll get to that when the fight is over.
To all my fans, I wish to send my best regards and to tell them that, as usual, I will leave everything in the ring. I know the fight will be hard, a tough fight, but I already have the mentality that I can win, that it can be done. If I box with intelligence and use my speed, I can achieve this. Come Sept. 19, you all will see a great fight, and as in every one of my fights I am going to give my best effort in the ring.
A typical day
For this fight, I am training in Mexico City, as I have done for all my fights. I start very early. At 4 in the morning, I wake up and go for my morning jog. I arrive at the place where I usually run at about 5 a.m. Once there, I work on my abs for a while. I do three series of about 300 sit-ups each. Then I start running. Today, for example, I sprinted for about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) at full speed.
I used to run in Toluca, Mexico, running up and down the mountains, but I don't go to Toluca anymore because my strength and endurance training is over. We're no longer working in the altitude; instead we're working on speed, we're working on moving faster, because speed is going to be an important factor. Then I go home, rest for a while, have a little breakfast, rest again, and then I go out at about 11 a.m. and head for the gym. There I train for about two and a half hours, almost three.
Training in the gym includes sparring, hitting the heavy bag, mitts and all that. In the gym, I do purely aerobic exercises. All the weightlifting is over. Twenty-five days before the fight, the whole endurance and strength training is finished. We're really focused on speed now, because we need to get to this fight being as fast as we can. Floyd Mayweather is a very fast fighter, and we have to fight him with the same speed.
And then, after training, I eat right there in the gym. That's where I eat supper, because right after that I enter the hyperbaric chamber. You have to eat before you enter the hyperbaric chamber. I go into the hyperbaric chamber at around 4 p.m. and I stay there for about an hour.
The hyperbaric chamber is handled as if you were a diver. It is set at a certain depth, as if you were submerged in the ocean, for example. There, they manage the pressure and they put an oxygen mask on you, where you breathe all that oxygen for an hour or more. Doing this, you send oxygen to your body, your organs, your blood. It is very important for an athlete.
And when I leave the hyperbaric chamber, I just go back home and rest, I am done for the day. Traffic here in Mexico City can be horrendous and when I get home I just go to bed. This goes on during the entire training process. My days are like this, one after the other. Everything is going to be like this during the next few weeks. Get up early in the morning, run, go to the gym, with no changes until the day of the fight.
I have been training for a long time now. I had already trained for two and a half months because the fight was scheduled for July 18. But the fight fell through, and it is now scheduled for Sept. 19. I have been training for a month and a half in this particular stage. So if we add it all up I have been training for four months, going into my fifth month.
I know that this fight is very important, and that it is a very difficult, very tough fight. But, well, I believe that the one who has to feel motivated, the one who must be inspired, the one who has to take care of business up in the ring is none other than me, obviously with the support of my people. There will be other trainers and fighters who would come up and say "You should fight like this, or like that." But up in the ring, it's a whole different ballgame.
Sparring and nutrition
We have been doing a lot of sparring lately. I am sparring with a Cuban fighter, Norberto Norris. I am also sparring with Alejandro Barrera, a fighter from Monterrey in Mexico.
I'm not on a diet but we're eating well, as always. I like to eat well because I like to train hard, and for this fight I need to get up in weight. That's why I'm eating a lot of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. My weight is fine, and now we're working on speed to accommodate all this new weight that I'll be carrying, which is something new for me. I want to have good speed because this is not my natural weight but I have to try to be as fast as I can.
I haven't set up a camp outside of home for this fight. I've never had a camp; I have trained out of my own home for the 55 fights of my career. It's great because I have the support of my family on a daily basis. But with all this training, going out to jog in the morning, getting in the hyperbaric chamber and all that, I don't get to see them that much. I almost don't see them at all. I get home at eight at night, maybe later, and they are already sleeping to go to school the next day. I don't get to enjoy them, and that's the way it goes during the entire training. I would like to dedicate more time to them, but my training is entering its most frantic pace. But once we get closer to the fight I am going to devote as much time as possible to my kids.
Usually, I never receive anyone in my training sessions outside of my team. Right now, since we have HBO doing the "24/7" show, we're closing the gym just for me, to tape the series without interference. That's why I only allow my sparring partners and my team. And obviously my trainer, Nacho Beristain. I've always believed that the best support comes from the fans. Other fighters may give you some support, but right now I am really focused on my training and my own way of doing things, and the main support comes from the fans, from the people.
This training regimen is the same every day, six days a week, from Monday to Saturday. I take Sundays off, because it is quite a hassle to have all those cameras following you all the time, from morning until dawn. I rest a lot during the day, I sleep a little whenever I can, but I almost never take days off. I only rest on Sundays, all day. I use Sundays to rest and to be with my family. I go to hear Mass and that's about all I do. After that, I start my week with much more energy, because my training regimen is very hard.
Juan Manuel Marquez will fight Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 19.