By Jake Donovan
For the first time in more than seven years, Manny Pacquiao will enter the ring following an official loss.
It’s otherwise business as usual for the fighting Congressman and former eight-division champ, who returns to the talk show and reality circuit ahead of his fourth encounter with longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez. The bout is his first since the controversial points loss to Tim Bradley this past June, marking his first defeat since March ’05.
The first taste of life in Pacquiao’s world comes on Saturday evening (actually early Sunday morning), when HBO presents the premiere of “24/7: Pacquiao-Marquez IV.” The fight itself takes place on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Episode one of the series airs at 12:15AM ET, following the conclusion of HBO’s ‘World Championship Boxing’ doubleheader live from Atlantic City.
The first three episodes of the latest batch of 24/7 will air each Saturday evening on three consecutive weeks. The finale will come on Friday, December 7, a few hours after the weigh-in, with the previous three episodes preceding the final edition.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38KO) continues with another time-honored tradition, which is to appear on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ prior to an upcoming bout. The run began in Nov. ’09, prior to his welterweight title win over Miguel Cotto, which gave him a belt in an unprecedented seven weight classes.
Every Pacquiao fight since then has been preceded by an appearance on the wildly popular ABC talk show. The first appearance came with a live performance of his cover on Dan Hill’s ‘Sometimes When We Touch.’
In recent years, Kimmel - a sports fan in general and close friends with Pacquiao – has opted to join the Filipino superstar on stage at the end of their segment. Their personal soundtrack has included John Lennon and The Bee Gees.
Simply put, nothing is off limits.
Pacquiao’s appearance on the show - his seventh overall - airs Wednesday, November 21 at midnight ET. Comedian/actor Tim Allen and hip hop superstar Flo Rida will also appear on the episode. This will mark the second time he has appeared on the show prior to a showdown with Marquez (54-6-1, 39KO), having also found his way to the couch prior to their third meeting last November.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox