What is your level of buy-in for Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez's fourth bout?
Most can agree that the boxing world is settling for this Pacquiao fight, as there are at least two other opponents that would have been more desirable to the public.
Nevertheless, the two boxing legends have put on three memorable fights, and there is no reason to believe they won't add another chapter to their legendary series.
Here's where you can catch the action:
When: Saturday, December 8, 9 p.m. ET
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: HBO PPV (Contact your cable provider.)
I was initially a bit sour on watching Pacquiao and Marquez clash for a fourth time.
I like meaningful fights, and to me this just didn't have enough immediate relevance. I've softened a bit as time has passed since the official announcement of the bout.
Don't get me wrong, I'd still rather see Pacquiao in a rematch with Timothy Bradley, but I'm not disgusted by the notion of Pacquiao-Marquez IV any more.
I guess the pre-fight hype has gotten to me.
It started with a very entertaining interview of the combatants on ESPN's First Take. I was reminded how likable Pacquiao can be, and I gained even more respect for Marquez's professionalism and approach.
The two men discuss fighting each other, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (of course) and more. Take a look:
My interest increased yet again with the beginning of HBO's brilliantly marketed and presented 24/7 series. Without a doubt it is the best thing to happen to major fight promotion since Muhammad Ali made trash-talking the norm.
With so much history between the fighters, the show's producers had tons of content to reflect upon as December 8 approaches. Here is a video of episode one:
When I'm lukewarm on a major HBO fight, the 24/7 mini-series almost never fails to push me to hot. The same thing happened here. I loved listening to Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, Marquez and others talk about the three previous fights.
That's boxing, and I love it.
The series is two episodes in, but you can catch up at HBO's YouTube Channel.
Beyond the featured attraction, the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard has a few potentially entertaining bouts. Snooki (of Jersey Shore fame) and 50 Cent promote two of the biggest names in the preliminary fights.
The 50 Cent-promoted Yuriorkis Gamboa will make his debut as a part of 50's stable. He'll take on Michael Farenas for the interim WBA super featherweight title. Gamboa was considered one of the best young fighters in the world at one point.
He's still undefeated, but he hasn't fought in over a year.
Snooki brings in featherweight Patrick Hyland of Ireland to battle Javier Fortuna for the WBA interim featherweight title. Don't hate Hyland just because of his Snooki-affiliation. He is 27-0, but Fortuna represents a significant step-up in competition.
This could be a long night for Hyland.
Miguel Vazquez will also be in action. The IBF lightweight champion will defend against Mercito Gesta. Vazquez is an awesome young fighter, and he's been on a role as of late. He has called out Adrien Broner in the past (h/t YouTube's Koncrete Jungle), and winning this fight would make him a more attractive opponent.
Gesta is also undefeated—and surprise, surprise—he's called Broner out as well (h/t YouTube's Chris Robinson). They'll have to get past each other first, but it will be a great fight.
Overall the card came together nicely and it will be a great night of boxing, barring the types of shenanigans that sometimes ail the sport.
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