Eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao seems all set to clash with Mexican counter puncher Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time on December 8 in Las Vegas Nevada.
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum confirmed the date and venue of Pacquiao's year end fight but came short of officially naming his next opponent.
Arum told Boxing Scene, Team Pacquiao will hold a press conference on Tuesday to officially announce the fight. He also confirmed the fight will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 8.
The scheduled press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles will likely end in a kick off ceremony for a press tour which will bring Pacquiao and Marquez to key cities in the US and in Mexico to promote their fight.
Last month Arum traveled to the Philippines to confer with Pacquiao on his possible opponents for his year end fight. He submitted three names which include unbeaten Palm Spring star Timothy Bradley, Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.
Pacquiao is coming off a loss to Bradley last June 9 in a controversial judges' decision which drew protest from millions of fight fans who said Pacquiao won by a wide margin. Two of the three judges ruled in favor of Bradley.
Pacquiao has an automatic rematch agreement with Bradley in case of a loss but the Filipino champion is likely to forego the rematch as it won't generate substantial revenue for him and his promoter.
Arum tried to explore a rematch with Cotto after an initial fight negotiation with Marquez, who reportedly asked for a prohibitive fight purse. However Cotto declined the offer, saying he already committed to face Austin Trout on December 1 at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
Financial considerations including percentages of sharing are still being worked out according to Arum. "We are getting very close to concluding the deal," said the Top Rank chairman.
Prior to his loss to Bradley last June 9, Pacquiao fought the Mexican counterpuncher in a trilogy bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last year. Pacquiao won via majority decision, but Marquez claimed he was again robbed of his victory for the third time.
The Pacquiao-Marquez ring-rivalry dates back to their first encounter in 2004 when they fought to a controversial draw in a featherweight bout (126 pounds).
In 2008, at super featherweight (130 pounds), Marquez and Pacquiao clashed again in a hotly contested rematch in which Pacquiao earned a split-decision victory. Pacquiao's third-round knockdown of Marquez must have influenced the decision of the judges, as they gave the winning score to the Filipino boxing star.
An impressive win by Pacquiao over Marquez could lead to the super fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr., in what appears to be the biggest and most lucrative fight in boxing history.