Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 4 takes place tonight in a boxing super-fight that will likely be the final installment of one of the great boxing rivalries of the past decade. The main card is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET with the main event featuring Pacquiao and Marquez likely to start closer to midnight.
The hugely popular Pacquiao is likely to draw in huge viewing figures, especially in this match up against Marquez – with the pair having had three amazing fights previously.
The Marquez camp have been convinced their man won all three previous fights against Pacquiao, yet he is still winless. Their first slugfest ended in a draw, with both sides claiming the win. The next two bouts saw Pacquiao take the win on the judges' scorecards, however, Marquez and his hoard of fans were left outraged after claiming their man should have been awarded the decisions.
At the same time Pacquiao has been dissatisfied with the grumblings following each match up. Over the three previous fights he has knocked down Marquez four times without being knocked down even once himself. He will want to silence his critics once and for all tonight and prove he is the better fighter.
Marquez weighed in at 143 pounds, and looked in top shape as he prepares for what many are saying will be his last hurrah in the ring. He will be doing everything he can to finally come out with a win tonight in probably the most interesting rivalry in world boxing over the past decade.
Marquez has said ahead of the fight: "My motivation is that I want them to raise my hand in the ring. I don't want people to just say, 'You really beat him.' I want them to know that I beat him."
Meanwhile, Pacquiao has said, "Right now my mind is focused on being more aggressive for this fight," according to Thomas Gerbasi of BoxingScene.com. "If there is a chance in the ring during the fight, why not make the fight easy if I have the opportunity?"
Marquez has said he needs to knock out Pacquiao to be sure of victory, following three too-close-to-call contests against the person who is widely touted to be the best pound for pound boxer in the world.
The first fight between the two was adjudged to be a draw on the scorecards. That amazing fight sparked two rematches, which both saw Pacquiao awarded the decision following almost completely even contests. This fourth bout between the pair looks to decide things once and for all, and fans will be hoping for the rivalry to finally end tonight with a knock out.
"I am looking for the knockout," Marquez told BBC. "I have trained really hard and I feel ready. I am looking for the knockout because the judges gave another decision [when they last met]. I need to do a perfect fight."
One thing Pacquiao has on his side, according to many pundits, is age; at 33, Pacquiao is six years younger than Marquez, meaning as time goes on the less likely Marquez has of overcoming his great rival. However, others have suggested that Pacquiao has been distracted over recent years, getting involved in politics and various other projects – they highlight he has not knocked out any of his opponents in his last five fights over the past three years.
He is also coming into this fight on the back of a loss against American Timothy Bradley in June – although that could prove more motivation that discouragement for Pacquiao, as a huge majority of fans and boxing pundits were left stunned at that points decision, with almost everyone suggesting Pacquiao clearly won that fight.
Pacquiao has said "I have prepared more. I am expecting [Marquez] to prove something because he is claiming he won the [last] fight."
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 4 undercard takes place Saturday from 9 p.m. ET with the main event closer to midnight.