At last it’s set: Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will have a rematch with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15 (March 16 in the Philippines) at Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas. And it’s a duel for the World Boxing Council super featherweight title that Marquez holds.
This was announced by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, according to www.espn.com in a story posted on November 29.
“This is the one everybody wanted to see,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer was quoted by the sports website as saying.
The bout will be televised by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Pacquiao (45-3-2, 34 KOs) and Marquez (48-3-1) last fought each other on May 8, 2004, with the Filipino fighter knocking down the Mexican thrice in the first round.
Marquez, however, was able to recover to force a split draw at the end of the 12-round bout.
Pacquiao’s last fight was last October 10 with Marco Antonio Barrera. Pacquiao won that one via unanimous decision, and Barrera went on to retire.
After that bout, Pacquiao said he was considering going up to the lightweight division and perhaps challenge David Diaz for the WBC lightweight crown, before deciding if he would face Marquez again.
“Manny is going to knock him out,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. “Manny feels that he has really improved dramatically since that first fight with Marquez and that Marquez has gone backwards.”
Diaz, too, will be fighting in the same boxing card and will defend his 135-pound title to an still unknown opponent.
Arum added that if Pacquiao and Diaz are sucessful in their respective bouts, then a match between them could be hatched. And if Pacquiao wins against Diaz, Arum said that a welterweight match against Oscar de la Hoya in is a possibility.
Pacquiao has so far won six straight matches against Mexican opponents. – GMANews.TV