Pacquiao and Marquez set for bout
Sat, 22 Sep 2012 11:58a.m.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez held a press conference at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan.
It was the second stop on a three-city, international promotional tour to publicise their fourth bout.
Three compelling clashes in the past eight years still haven't resolved the rivalry between Pacquiao and Marquez, so they're stepping in the ring together for a fourth bout at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on December 8th.
Although they're extending a rivalry to rare lengths in modern boxing, the fighters and promoters believe fans will warm to the match-up when they remember just how good the first three fights were.
Pacquiao and Marquez fought to a draw in 2004, while Pacquiao won by split decision in 2008 and again by majority decision last year.
The bouts featured knockdowns, wild momentum swings and fascinating contrasts in technique - but Marquez and many fans still believe he won all three fights, while Pacquiao says he clearly won the last two.
With a combination of unfinished business and unmatched financial reward, Pacquiao and Marquez both had plenty of incentive to get together again.
They have fought at 125, 130 and 144 pounds, and their fourth fight will be a straight welterweight contest at 147.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) is coming off his first loss since 2005, a wildly disputed decision to Timothy Bradley.
Still stinging from that embarrassment, he says he's going back to the ferocious, relentless style of fighting that made him an eight-division champion.
Pacquiao hasn't stopped an opponent in more than three years, a once-unthinkable drought for a relentless puncher.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) has tested Pacquiao more than any opponent, with counterpunching skills and comprehensive boxing knowledge that can negate many of Pacquiao's strengths.
But Pacquiao also is a nightmare match-up for Marquez, whose relentlessness hasn't been enough to overcome Pacquiao's once-in-a-generation combination of speed and strength.
While Pacquiao has a plan to recapture his best form, Marquez believes the only way to be sure he'll finally get his hand raised is to stop the Filipino congressman.
Marquez swore off the rivalry and nearly retired in frustration immediately after Pacquiao's victory last fall, but agreed to return after a few months to cool down.
Pacquiao and Marquez will join the short list of rivalries that couldn't be contained by a mere trilogy, including Sugar Ray Robinson's six fights with Jake LaMotta and Robinson's four bouts with Gene Fullmer.
More recently, Israel Vazquez's sensational rivalry with Rafael Marquez, Juan Manuel's brother, extended to four fights, concluding with Marquez's third-round stoppage of Vazquez in May 2010.
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