Manny Pacquiao will make his seventh appearance on HBO’s documentary series when 24/7: Pacquiao-Marquez 4 debuts on Saturday night at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT.
The first espisode will air directly after HBO’s 10 p.m. broadcast of a World Championship boxing double-header featuring undefeated junior lightweight Adrien Broner against WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs), and unbeaten heavyweight Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell opposite Johnathon Banks.
This installment of the series will chronicle the buildup to the HBO Pay Per View-televised fourth meeting between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez that is scheduled for Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In November, Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) escaped with a highly disputed majority decision over Marquez (54-6-2, 39 KOs), with whom he has also battled to a draw and won a previous split decision.
Pacquiao floored Marquez three times in the first round of their initial meeting as featherweights in May of 2004, and dropped him once in the third round of their second as junior lightweights in March of 2008.
Pacquiao, who turns 34 on Dec. 17, chose to face Marquez over a return bout with Tim Bradley, whose controversial split decision in June dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s 147-pound titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Marquez, who turned 39 in August, nearly retired following the last bout with Pacquiao, but rebounded with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s junior welterweight belt.
During early interviews with RingTV.com, Marquez’s trrainer, Nacho Beristain, said that that his fighter “will be better than ever.” Marquez’s strength coach Angel Hernandez vowed that Marquez would be “bigger, stronger and faster,” and Marquez himself said that he will “try to knock out” Pacquiao.
But Pacquiao is equally motivated to conquer Marquez, who has never been knocked out although he has been dropped to the canvas a number of times, including in the second round of a one-sided, unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September of 2009.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has been stopped twice, both times in the third round, back in February of 1996 and September of 1999. Pacquiao was 11-0 when he was knocked out by Rustico Torecampo, and 26-1 before being similarly stopped by Medgoen Singurat.
In facing Marquez at the MGM, Pacquiao returns to the site where he won his second crown by knocking out Lehlo Ledwaba in six rounds for the IBF junior featherweight belt.
In a departure from the traditional “24/7″ format, the debut episode revisits the first three fights of the epic rivalry.
Episodes two and three of 24/7 Paquiao-Marquez 4 debut on subsequent Saturdays on Nov. 24 at 12:15 a.m., and on Dec. 1 at 9:30 p.m.
The finale debuts on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., the night before Pacquiao and Marquez take the ring against each other for the fourth time.
All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com