On December 8th, one of boxing's biggest rivalries enters its fourth and possibly final chapter. Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2), the first 8-division world champion (to also simultaneously be a Congressman) will once again face challenger Juan Manuel Márquez (54-6-1), who himself has won titles in 4 different weight classes. The rivalry between the two men has spanned over 8 years, beginning with their controversial first match in 2004 which ended in a draw, and it shows no signs of slowing down now. Here is a look back at the road that led to this fourth fantastic fight:
May 8, 2004
Pacquiao challenges Juan Manuel Márquez, the WBA and IBF Featherweight Champ. To the surprise of many, Pacquiao knocks Márquez down three times in the first round. However, Márquez fights back, winning the majority of the rounds afterward. The match is ultimately scored a draw, which would be the first of several controversies surrounding the two men.
March 15, 2008
Pacquiao and Márquez have their first rematch, dubbed "Unfinished Business." Pacquiao wins by split decision, capturing the WBC Super Featherweight and the Ring Super Featherweight titles. An intensely fought match, the decisive factor proves to be Pacquiao's knockdown of Márquez in the third round with a hard left hook. Márquez and his camp call for a rematch immediately afterwards.
November 12, 2011
Pacquiao defeats Márquez for a second time, by majority decision, defending his WBO Welterweight title. Though there's a great amount of backlash over the decision from the crowd present, the stats support Pacquiao's victory.
December 8, 2012
Pacquiao and Márquez will square off for the fourth time. Pacquiao, fresh off a highly controversial loss (by decision) to Timothy Bradley--which the WBO later stated Pacquiao should have won unanimously--is definitely hungry for revenge. It's clear both sides have unfinished business.
The December 8th bout will be shown live on Pay-Per-View, but leading up to the fight, HBO is airing some fantastic match-related programing. You can watch live footage of the weigh in on HBO's "Weigh In Live" beginning Friday, December 7th at 6PM ET/PT, as well as on TopRank.com. HBO will also feature the finale of "24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez 4" after the weigh in at 8PM ET/PT.
In a rivalry for the ages, this chapter is not to be missed. Tell us who is going home with the glory by tweeting us your fight predictions using the hashtag #TeamPacquiao and #TeamMarquez below.