Manny Pacquiao will face off for the fourth time against Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. This is Pacquiao’s first fight since losing his welterweight title to Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9 in a controversial split decision.
After the loss, Pacquiao narrowed down the next opponent he wanted to face to three men, Marquez, Miguel Cotto, or Bradley Jr. Originally, it was reported that Pacquiao’s top choice was Cotto. However, before the two could reach an agreement Cotto agreed to fight Austin Trout on December 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Reportedly, the final decision between Marquez and Bradley Jr. came down to a financial one. By facing Marquez, Pacquiao is set to make $23 million. While it is not known how much he would have gotten to face Bradley Jr., it was stated by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to be, “considerably less” according to ESPN.com.
Both fighters met for the first time on May 8, 2004 in Las Vegas. Despite Pacquiao knocking down Marquez three times in the first round, the fight was scored a draw. After the first round, most felt Marquez won the majority of the remaining rounds. Despite this, the three judges scored it, 115-110 for Pacquiao, 115-110 for Marquez, and 113-113 making it a draw.
The next time the two fighters met was on March 15, 2008. Pacquiao won on a split decision which many felt was aided by his third-round knockdown of Marquez. The judges scored the fight, 115-112 for Pacquiao, 115-112 for Marquez, and 114-113 for Pacquiao.
The most recent bout between the fighters took place on November 12, 2011. Again, Pacquiao was victorious over Marquez after winning on a majority decision. This brought Pacquiao’s career record to 2-0-1 over Marquez. Despite the judges scoring the fight, 114–114, 115–113 for Pacquiao, and 116–112 for Pacquiao, many fans in attendance felt Marquez was robbed and continued to boo throughout Pacquiao’s post fight in ring interview.
On December 8, the two will face off in a welterweight (147 lbs.) bout but there will be no title on the line for this fight.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) has won titles in the 126, 130, 135, and140 pound weight class. This is just the second fight for Marquez at this weight class. In 2009, he lost a lopsided fight to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao is the only boxer to hold titles in eight separate weight classes. He has won titles in the Flyweight (112), Super Bantamweight (122), Featherweight (126), Super Featherweight (130), Lightweight (135), Light Welterweight (140), Welterweight (147), and Light Middleweight (154) divisions. His career record is 54-4-2 with 38 knockouts.
Pacquiao will be turning 34 years old right after the fight and has already said he wants to retire from boxing soon to focus on his political career. He is already a congressman in his home country of the Philippines. Marquez is nearly 40 having turned 39 in August. Having fought three previous times and with both fighters thought to be at or past their prime it could be the last time for fans of both fighters to watch them square off against one another, or against anyone.
Tickets for Paquiao vs. Marquez IV are scheduled to go on sale to the general public Friday, September 28 at 10 a.m.