Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum calls it unprecedented.
“There is no question, there has never been a press tour that will have encompassed this distance,” said Arum. “This is incredible because it’s one complete tour that is going around the world.”
The fighters and their entourages will start out on Sept. 3 in Pacquiao’s native Manilla, Philippines, and end on Sept. 8 in Marquez’s home of Mexico City.
In between are stops in New York on Sept. 6, followed by Los Angeles on Sept. 8.
“The Philippines is not just a hop skip and a jump. It takes a full day to get there. Then you have the fact that they’re having this massive press rally in the Philippines is something special,” said Arum.
“And then coming to New York on Labor Day and having a press conference the day after. I mean, there is going to be stuff that you’ve never seen before happening with these press conferences.”
The initial conference is being held at Manila’s Quirino Grandstand. Named in honor of former President Elpidio Quirino, it is the venue from which Filipino presidents traditionally take their oath of office and address their nation for the first time.
The final stop of the tour is downtown Mexico’s Monumento a la Revolución, which is located in Republic Square and commemorates the Mexican Revolution.
Given the popularity of the two warriors, Arum isn’t sure where to expect the largest turnout — in the Philippines or in Mexico.
“The Filipinos are going to lie about the number of people in the Philippines, and the Mexicans can also lie about the number of people in Mexico City. One thing that’s for sure is that we’re going to have are going to have thousands of thousands of people in both places,” said Arum.
“I know that there will be upwards of 50,000 in both places. I’ve heard estimates of as high as 2000,000 being expected. But that’s a lot of people — enough to fill a football stadium. At any rate, we’ll have helicopters taking pictures from above, so maybe you’ll be able to make an estimation for yourself. But maybe we’ll never know.”
Pacquiao-Marquez III will happen on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and be televised on HBO Pay Per View.
The clash is the third between the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 knockouts) and the 38-year-old Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), whose most recent birthday was on Aug. 23.
In spite of flooring Marquez three times during their first meeting and once in their second, Pacquiao battled to a draw before winning a disputed split-decision, respectively, in May of 2004 and March of 2008.
A winner of belts over the course of eight divisions, Pacquiao will be looking for his 15th consecutive win and his ninth stoppage during that time in defense of his WBO welterweight title.
Marquez holds the WBA and WBO lightweight belts and has won three straight fights, including consecutive knockouts in the ninth and first rounds against Michael Katsidis and Likar Ramos in November and last month.
Pacquiao-Marquez III Press Tour
Tuesday, Sept. 6
Wednesday, Sept. 7
Thursday, Sept. 8
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com