BOXING: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez confirmed today that they will extend their historic rivalry to a fourth fight on December 8 in Las Vegas.
Modern boxing is littered with great bouts that never happened, but, by agreeing to fight again, the Filipino pound-for-pound king and Mexico's Marquez have created a series that deserves to be uttered in the same breath as the six fights shared by Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta, or Robinson's four bouts with Gene Fullmer.
The current tally stands at two wins for Pacquiao and a draw, though all three results are hotly disputed by Marquez, who believes the score should be 3-0 in his favour.
Though Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) has a two-fight advantage over his old rival, the debate over who really won those fights clearly rankles and this time around both will be hoping for a decisive finish to the fight rather than letting the judges decide.
"I want to erase the doubt of the last three fights," said Pacquiao, who has not knocked out an opponent for three years and controversially lost his last bout to Timothy Bradley in a highly dubious decision.
"This time, I will train hard to put this fight up in the history of boxing. I want to make this fight short. I want to knock him out."
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) concurred that a knockout would be the best outcome this time around. He said: "Everybody knows I won the fights, and I don't know what happened with the judges. I have to take it out of the judges' hands this time."