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Pacquiao, Marquez out for feather supremacy

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao looks to solidify his
claim as the best 126-pounder in the world Saturday night when
he meets WBA and IBF featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez
at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

A hard-hitting southpaw, Pacquiao (38-2-1, 30 KOs) is widely
considered one of the premier fighters in the lower weight
classes. The 25-year-old Filipino is coming off his most
impressive victory as he dominated former champion Marco Antonio
Barrera on Nov. 15.

In that fight, Pacquiao, who has captured titles at 112 and 122
pounds, applied constant pressure and punished Barrera en route
to an 11th-round technical knockout.

Marquez (42-2, 33 KOs) will not only be risking his titles, but
also will be looking to establish himself as the premier Mexican
fighter after the vastly popular Barrera's stunning loss.

Marquez has won 13 straight fights and captured the IBF belt
with a seventh-round stoppage of countryman and former
four-time featherweight champion Manuel Medina in February
2003.

Nine months later, Marquez added the WBA strap with a
seventh-round technical decision over Derrick Gainer, who
received a cut over his left eye from an accidental head butt
and could not continue.

On Saturday's undercard, undefeated junior welterweight prospect
Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico will face a stiff test when he
meets Australian-based South African Lovemore N'Dou.

The 23-year-old Cotto (19-0, 16 KOs), who is on the cusp of a
title shot, is ranked first by the WBA, third by the WBC, and
fourth by the IBF in the 140-pound division.

N'Dou (38-6-1, 24 KOs), a battle-tested veteran, put up a good
showing in his shot at the WBA super lightweight title, but
lost a close decision to American Sharmba Mitchell in February.
He has won two fights since, knocking out a pair of non-descript
opponents.

The fights will be televised on HBO beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET.