LAS VEGAS—When Manny Pacquiao’s weight was announced, it caught Team Marquez by surprise.
Reason: Pacquiao checked in at the full welterweight limit of 147, outweighing Juan Manuel Marquez (143) by four pounds at the official weigh-in Friday (Saturday in Manila) at the Manila Grand Garden Arena here.
The difference was significant enough for Marquez’s trainer, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, who took a second look. Not content, Beristain then asked promoter Fernando Beltran to check the figure at the scales.
Pacquiao was right on the dot in matching his weight when he fought Timothy Bradley in June.
In their third battle, fought at a catchweight of 144 last year, Pacquiao checked in at 143 and Marquez 142. Both decided to bulk up for this fight that is a sure sellout and is certain to surpass 1 million in PPV (pay-per-view) buys, according to promoter Bob Arum, who will turn 81 on the day of the fight Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
That the fourth fight will be another blockbuster was shown by a big crowd of 5,000 who attended the weigh-in, where former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson served as official observer.
For the first time in Pacquiao’s 10 fights at MGM Grand, the flag-bearing Filipinos were drowned out by the Mexicans, likewise carrying flags, with wooden rattlers to boot. Of course, the Mexicans reserved their loudest boos and jeers for Pacquiao, dubbed Mexicutioner for annihilating the country’s best fighters like Erik Morales, Hector Velasquez, Jorge Solis, Oscar Larios, Antonio Margarito, Marco Antonio Barrera and, of course, Marquez.
While Beristain and Marquez didn’t expect Pacquiao to come in at 147, Marquez said he’s ready for an all-out war.
Four other Filipinos—Mercito Gesta, Michael Farenas, Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. and Ernie Sanchez—also made the weights for their respective fights in the 64-round card.