Already a man who is considered larger than life in his native Philippines, the figure of eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao could be more than 50 feet tall staring down at an audience of New Yorkers on Friday.
That’s because Pacquiao will be the feature as Top Rank debuts its latest fan-oriented innovation, “Just Watch,” a one-hour live stream of a Pacquiao training session from a seven stories tall screen of Time Square’s NASDAQ building starting at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT.
From a viewing surface that encompasses a quarter-acre of screen space, Pacquiao’s actions will be streamed live on TopRank.com, InsideHBOBoxing.com and other major sports, boxing and entertainment websites as he prepares at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calf., for his fourth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“We wanted to give boxing fans a front row seat to what training camp for a big fight is like just days away from walking into the ring,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “This has never been done before and if we were going to present it on one of the biggest stages – Friday rush hour in Times Square – it only made sense to do it with boxing’s biggest star, Manny Pacquiao.”
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.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com