It's the bout we've all been waiting for since Manny Pacquiao suffered the split-decision loss heard 'round the world last June. For the first time since then, Pacquiao will get back in the ring to face Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth—and last—time in his career.
And judging by the way things turned out the last three times these two have stepped into the ring together, we are in for another show.
Though Pacquiao has gotten through his last three fights against Marquez without a loss, Marquez just can't let it go. He refuses to let the controversy die, and he refuses to admit that he's been outdone, which is why the two of them will end up going at it once again.
According to Pacquiao, he's doing Marquez a favor. In a conference call with reporters last week, via FightNews.com, Pacquiao said:
I am giving him a chance. I am giving him a chance to prove he can win the fight because he thought he has won all three and he keeps talking about it. So it is very important to me, to win this fight, especially since Marquez really wanted this fight.
Will the result be a shocker or more of the same? Here's everything you need to know about where and when to watch it go down.
Where: Las Vegas, Nev.
When: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. ET
Watch: HBO pay-per-view
Live Stream: PacquiaoVsMarquez4.info
The history alone in this matchup makes it a can't-miss. Each time these two rivals have faced each other, it hasn't ever been boring, to say the last.
The first time they got in the ring was in 2004, and that one ended in a draw. The second came in 2008, and that time, Pacquiao won in a controversial majority decision. The most recent one came a little over a year ago, and it ended very much like the way it ended back in 2008—with a controversial majority decision in Pacquiao's favor.
It's clear, judging from the history between these two, why Marquez is so eager to give himself just one more shot to take down Pacquiao. Pacman may be unbeaten against his rival, but he's never dominated Marquez. He's never destroyed him. He's never beaten him without there being controversy and speculation surrounding the result.
He believes he deserves a fair shot at a victory to put an end to this storied rivalry, and now he's getting it—to his, and the each fan's, pleasure.
The good news for Marquez is that of the three times they've faced each other, Pacquiao looked his weakest the last time out. He still got the decision, but it was far closer than in the previous two bouts. Despite the fact that Marquez ended up with the loss, knowing how close he came to defeating his fiercest rival has to be giving him some extra motivation as Round No. 4 looms.
There's also the fact that Pacquiao is coming off that "loss" to Bradley—which, to be fair, probably shouldn't have been a loss at all. Anyone with eyes could see that. But the fact remains that Pacquiao didn't dominate Marquez in the last bout between these two, and he didn't dominate his opponent the last time he was in the ring.
You can expect this one to be a knock-down, drag-out battle. You can expect both of them to be fighting for everything they have—their reputations, and their pride. This is the finale between these two, and neither of them wants to go home—for good—with any regrets.
It may even be their best battle yet.