Update: Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 8:44 p.m. ET
Two sources have confirmed that Pacquiao will face Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times.
Pugmire tweeted on Wednesday:
-- End of Update --
After Miguel Cotto turned him down, Manny Pacquiao appears close to landing a fourth match against Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
When Cotto declined to fight Pacquiao and set a Dec. 1 date with junior-middleweight champion Austin Trout, Pacquiao was forced to choose between Marquez and Timothy Bradley Jr., who defeated him via a controversial decision on June 9.
It's not a surprise that Pacquiao is leaning toward Marquez, given he appeared disinterested in a rematch against Bradley after a bout many thought he had won.
It also will likely make for a better fight. Pacquiao was on the winning side of a controversial decision against Marquez in November 2011. He is 2-0-1 against the legendary Mexican, but there are many who believe he should be 1-1-1 after the last matchup.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn't an option this year, but there is talk that Pacquiao may face him next year. But, regardless of whether the two powerhouses ever square off, Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV figures to be a thrilling affair.
After Pacquiao's fight against Marquez in November, many questioned whether he still had the desire to continue in the ring. He indeed looked listless compared to the dominant Pacquiao of the past we knew all too well.
But, Pacquiao's fight against Bradley—albeit against a lesser fighter—was a bounce-back performance for the Filipino great, as he was much more active and demonstrated some flurries we had grown accustomed to from the eight-division world champion.
Here's to Pacquiao and Marquez touching gloves once again, hopefully as a precursor to a showdown between Pacquiao and Mayweather.