MANILA, Philippines - After three epic fights that spawned 36 fast and furious rounds, oddsmakers remain steadfast in their belief that Manny Pacquiao is the clear favorite heading into his fourth showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
According to the official odds that the MGM Grand released yesterday, Pacquiao is listed at minus 400 (4-1 favorite), while Marquez is plus 300, meaning a $400 bet on the Filipino wins $100, while a $100 wager on the Mexican wins $300.
The odds turned out to be surprising since Pacquiao and Marquez have fought on even terms even though Pacquiao is 2-0-1 (win-loss-draw) in his head-to-head battle.
The first time (May 2004) they fought, the fight ended on a 12-round majority draw. The second meeting (March 2008) went Pacquiao's way via a 12-round split decision, while the third duel (November 2011) also went to Pacquiao's favor on a 12-round majority decision.
All three fights are controversial and remain a hot topic among fight aficionados.
The last few days, both fighters have expressed their desire to put an exclamation point to their fourth clash before an expected sellout crowd at the 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao, whose last stoppage win was against Miguel Cotto in Nov . 2009, has told his long-time trainer Freddie Roach that is it high time for him to score a resounding victory over the resilient Marquez.
Marquez has also said the very same thing, stressing that he can't afford the judges to decide the outcome of the fight that will be fought at welterweight.
Pacquiao, who turns 34 in December, will spend the entire eight-week training camp at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
The news about a court ruling ordering Floyd Mayweather Jr. to cough up $113,518.50 to cover the legal expenses of Manny Pacquiao did not come as a surprise for the Filipino boxing star.
Contacted early Thursday morning in New York, Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz told the Bulletin that the court order "is old news" and that they had already known about it "two months ago."
"It was just made public yesterday," said Koncz, who is with Pacquiao in the second leg of a three-city promotional tour drumbeating the fourth fight with Marquez.
Pacquiao had filed a defamation suit against Mayweather two years ago after the unbeaten US fighter came out smoking in various interviews, alleging that Pacquiao has been using performance-enhancing drugs while preparing for fights.
Pacquiao sought the help of his promoter, Top Rank big boss Bopb Arum, in the case against Mayweather and the Hall of Fame promoter tapped the services of David Marroso and Harrison Whitman, regarded as legal super-heavyweights in the entire US.
According to a report on Yahoo, getting Marroso and Whitman to represent Pacquiao did not come in cheap.
Marroso charges an hourly rate of $695, while Whitman charges a slightly lower cost of $495 an hour.
Pacquiao has fought 22 times on US soil since 2001 and has never failed a single drug test and the celebrated puncher credits his success in beating boxing's big guns to his training regimen and strong religious faith.
Through the years, Pacquiao has racked up a string of wins over marquee names, including Oscar dela Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Marquez.
Nevada judge Larry Hicks also ordered Mayweather to shell out an additional $774 covering court costs.
Pacquiao is set to appear in Mexico City on Friday (Saturday in Manila) for the final stop of the tour and will return to the country on Sunday.