Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have bumped heads and fists three times already, and even though Pacquiao has a 2-0-1 mark against the Mexican counterpunching ace, the jury is still out on which man has gotten the better of the other, at least among fight fans.
So the congressman from the Philippines and Marquez will glove up and face off again on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas. The fighters and promoter Bob Arum arrived in New York on Wednesday to hype the clash, which will unfold at the MGM Grand and on pay-per-view. The fight will be contested in the welterweight class, 147 pounds or less.
The 33-year-old Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs), coming off a controversial loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9 in Vegas, took his time picking his next foe. Some thought he should secure a rematch with Bradley to prove what many watchers believed, that he deserved the win despite the marks on the judges' scorecard. But Pacquiao chose to fight the 39-year-old Marquez (54-6-1, with 39 KOs), a champion in four weight classes, who at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Wednesday insisted that he won all three bouts against "Pacman."
Pacquiao, who has won titles in eight different weight classes, told the media that he wants to knock out Marquez, to remove all doubt just who is the better man. The fighter, who turns 34 on Dec. 17, hasn't scored a win via stoppage since 2009, when he won on a TKO in Round 12 against Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao said he wanted to make the fight "as short as possible," and hopes to turn back the clock and fight like a 25-year-old version of himself. His trainer, Freddie Roach, admitted that he still hasn’t deciphered Marquez, but said he will ask Pacquiao to press Marquez like he did in their first encounter, in 2004. In that fight, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round, though the decision ended in a draw.
Marquez, in Spanish, said he has nothing to prove, “because I won all three fights.”
Their 2008 rematch resulted in a split decision win for Pacquiao, with the lefty scoring a knockdown in round three. The last tussle between the two took place on Nov. 12, 2011; the scores were 115-113, 116-112 Pacquiao, and 114-114, even.