When a movie franchise hits number four, usually you know the quality is likely not to be the best. For example, Rocky IV may have been well-received by fans of the series, but it can hardly be called a classic. Manny Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez has just as many fans and expectations are still pretty high. The first three were exciting and controversial.
It will take place in Las Vegas on December 8th.
The first fight was held back in 2004 and fought to a draw. In 2007, the Filipino legend won on a split decision. They met for a third time in November 2011. Pacquiao won that one too on a points decision that many thought was the wrong one. Marquez was so upset by the decision he originally planned to quit boxing.
Not all thought that Marquez deserved to win but many did. The New York Daily News wrote that Marquez had finally stepped out of the shadow cast by the southeast Asian by “pounding Pacquiao over the course of 12 rounds on Saturday night, but was denied a victory when he was robbed of a decision by judges who were either blind or corrupt.”
Marquez thinks that he has some wrongs to right when it comes to Pacquiao. It was thought that the Mexican wanted the fight to take place in his homeland after being what he sees as robbed.
In the build-up to the fight, Marquez has called for the judges to do their job.
“It seems that Manny has only one opponent every time we fight – me – while I have four – Manny and the three judges…” he said.
“…As we have seen in the first three fights, it is not just up to me to win the fights. It is up to three judges who score the fights. There is no doubt in my mind that I won all three previous fights with my skills and smarts in the ring but the judges have denied me that victory.”
“All I ask is for a fair judgment, and if I lose I lose. But if I win I want my hand raised that night in the ring.
Marquez has also said that since their first two meetings, Pacquiao is not the fighter he was, claiming that, while he is still formidable, he has become more predictable and is not as fast or explosive.
This is not a title fight. For Marquez it is a chance to beat his rival. For Pacquiao it is a chance to show that he can beat his rival without controversy or lingering doubts.
For promoters, it is a fantastic way to make money. On the first weekend of sales, 13,000 of 16,000 tickets were sold, the cheapest of which was $200. Pay-per-view income on television is also expected to be considerable with 1.35 million fans paying to watch the third meeting.
Since the last fight, Pacquiao suffered his first loss in seven years and that came in highly controversial circumstances.
Almost everyone thought he had beaten Timothy Bradley in June but somehow, the judges gave the win to the American, much to the shock of people in the Philippines and indeed throughout the boxing world.
Marquez also believes that Manny won that fight.
“Look at what happened to Pacquiao against Timothy Bradley. I was ringside for that fight and I felt that Pacquiao won it but the judges took it away from him and that also is not right.”
Pacquiao is now training hard in order to prove that he is the better fighter.
“I know I haven’t fought perfect fights against Márquez in the past and my incentive in this one is to fight the fight I should fight this time,” said Pacquiao. “If I do that I will not only win again but put away all doubts in the minds of the fans and Márquez on who is the better fighter. I want everyone to know the old Manny Pacquiao is still alive in the ring.”
We will see very soon.