By Hesiquio Balderas


Juan Manuel Marquez is a happy man and feels like a child in a candy store. Finally, after many years of challenging the pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, Marquez has secured the opportunity to face the Filipino icon for a third time. The first fight, in 2004, ended in a controversial twelve round draw. The second fight, fought four years later, ended in a split decision victory for Pacquiao, but many people felt Marquez deserved to win. During those bouts the champion was Marquez, at featherweight and junior lightweight, but this time the champion is Pacquiao who will defend his WBO welterweight championship.


''I feel great. This is what I wanted and the contract is also what I was hoping it would be. So now we have to get back to the gym and prepare myself for a tune up fight in July. I will do it under Marquez Promotions and it will probably be in Mexico City, said Marquez. "There is always a risk when taking a tuneup fight but I feel that I need the activity to be 100% ready for the Pacquiao challenge."

About the Manny Pacquiao fight - "I will beat him, and I will do it for all of the Mexican people. It will be a tough fight, but I will win again just like I did before in 2004 and 2008. If i beat him again the reward will be bigger in the near future (Marquez has a guarantee of $10 million dollars for a fourth meeting). The Mexican fans and the Latin fans want this fight and they will support me."

The fight will take place on November 12, in Las Vegas, at a contracted weight limit of 144 pounds.