After three outstanding fights between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, no one complained when they set up a fourth fight.
Pacquiao has never lost in this rivalry, but a tie and two controversial decisions should make the talented boxer quite nervous heading into this main event.
Although there are no titles on the line in this bout, it should still be one of the top events of the year in this entertaining sport.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup.
When: Friday, December 7
Weight Limit: 147 lbs.
The last time these two competitors fought, it was at a catch weight of 144. This time, however, the fighters will be competing at the full welterweight amount of 147.
This should benefit Pacquiao, who is much more experienced boxing at higher weight classes.
Marquez even said that he will not need the maximum weight allowance when he eventually steps into the ring. According to Boxingscene.com, he said, "Although the limit of the fight is at 147-pounds, I won't weigh that much. I'm going to climb into the ring at 143 or 144 pounds, which is a weight where I physically feel better."
It is most important to feel comfortable and not bulk up for the sake of weight alone, but Marquez needs to make sure he is not pushed around by Pacquiao in the fight.
When: Saturday, December 8 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
Watch: HBO Pay-Per-View
Live Stream: DIRECTV Online
Officials (via BoxingRec.com)
Referee: Kenny Bayless
Judges: Adalaide Byrd, Steve Weisfeld, John Keane
Tale of the Tape (via BoxingRec.com)
Record: 54-4-2 (38 KOs)
Juan Manuel Marquez
Record: 54-6-1 (39 KOs)
Three Close Matches
The rivalry between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez has been one of the best in the sport in the last decade.
Marquez has kept every match close, but he wants to prove to himself and the rest of the world that he can be victorious against one of the best boxers of his generation.
Eric Raskin of HBO Insider points out how narrow the first bouts have been:
Seven points. That's what separates Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez through three fights. Seven points. Nine different judges scoring on the 10-point must system for a total of 36 rounds have given Pacquiao 1,024 points and Marquez 1,017. That means the average scorecard for any given bout of this rivalry has read 113.77-113 in Pacquiao's favor.
Losing a close bout says a lot about a fighter, but winning says a lot more.
Pacquiao's Trainer Accusing Marquez of PEDs
Freddie Roach was very blunt in his assessment of Marquez and his recent weight gain. Manny Pacquiao's trainer told Jon Saraceno in USA Today, "If (his body) is natural, I will kiss his ass. (Marquez) has gotten bigger and gained weight — it throws up a red flag."
While this is only circumstantial evidence against the veteran fighter, it adds fuel to the fire between these two sides heading into the fight.
Jose Sulaiman, President of the WBC, recently explained that he thought the upcoming fight was completely useless (via Paul Magno of Yahoo):
The fourth version of Manny Pacquiao-Marquez is a fight without importance. It's a fight without a championship at stake. It's a fight that's only interesting for those in the Philippines and Mexico-- nobody else in the world cares. It's a fight where the sole purpose is to fill a date, and that's all.
Of course, he might be singing a different tune if it was his organization, and not WBO, that was given the chance to sanction the fight.
In reality, there will be a great amount of interest from around the world.
This is the type of fight that you do not want to miss because it will be certainly be discussed in the following days. Make sure you are not left out when the main event comes.