(No, we're just talking about Manny Paquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV, here. P.S. The website link in the picture doesn't work, but credit due to whoever produced this.)
Don't follow boxing very often, but you want to know the gist of Saturday's mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez? Follow boxing all the time, and want one place that rounds up all the links about the welterweight showdown you could ever want? This Ultimate Guide to the Dec. 8 pay-per-view bout is for you, no matter what kind you are.
We begin, as always, with the work we do here. We told you why you might want to care, or not, about Pacquiao-Marquez IV; we informed you about the undercard; we ruminated on the extraordinary promotion of the fight by ESPN; we previewed and predicted the main event; and then a bunch of staffers discussed the fight 'round a table.
HBO's greatest hits clips for each fighter, below, usually do the best available job of telling the stories of each fighters' ring career, and almost always gets me fired up. Pacquiao's fights are perfectly chosen by HBO as a demonstration of his career highlights; Marquez's misses the crucial Chris John loss most of all, but that occurred off their airwaves, so I can dig it. Via BoxRec, you can get each fighter's complete records. If you want to get the fighters' personal stories, HBO 24/7 is still the best outlet for that, despite the periodic deserved and undeserved criticisms of the show, and all the past episodes are available on YouTube right now, with the newest and final episode airing Friday evening. HBO.com and its affiliated partners (HBOGo, the afore-linked YouTube channel, cable "on demand" sections) always have a ton of stuff of interest -- videos, articles. "Under the Lights" is one such example, below -- a featurette about some of the more technical elements of the match-up.
But it will cost you money to watch the fight itself. Last year, Floyd Mayweather fights on pay-per-view initiated a $5 increase on the elite PPV cards, and Pacquiao-Marquez 4 is now joining him in the $59.95 standard/$69.95 high-def price in a little-noticed move. Joy. Besides cable/satellite, you can also watch the fight online for the same price, at TopRank.TV, here. At least Pacquiao's getting $26 million for the fight from us, so we are going poor for a good cause. Some of the fights are free, thankfully, but only those deep down on the undercard beginning at 7 p.m., also on TopRank.TV, but it's nice to be able to watch them at all. The start time for the broadcast is 9 p.m., and the start time for Pacquiao-Marquez 4 itself won't be before midnight. And you can get some money back thanks to good old Tecate and its rebate offer, up to $50 worth if you buy 90 beers. You can also catch the weigh-in Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET in about a million places, among them -- you guessed it -- TopRank.TV.
Wanna see what some of the biggest media outlets are saying about Pacquiao-Marquez 4? Here's a sampling. The AP's Tim Dahlberg offers a straightforward but usefull preview for the casual fan. The Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire casts the fight through the prism of Marquez's legacy. USA Today's John Saraceno lacks some of the hardcore fan exhaustion with the match-up, leaning toward a favorable view. The Wall Street Journal's Gordon Marino contemplates the nature of boxing rivalries, and this one in particular. CNN had a word with Pacquiao about the usual stuff -- he loves the Philippines, apparently. The New York Daily News' Tim Smith comes at it from the tabloid angle, what with 50 Cent and Snooki both being involved in the card. Yahoo's Kevin Iole raises some questions about whether Marquez is artificially building up his body. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated takes the occasion of the fight to flesh out a profile of the bout's promoter, Bob Arum, that's one of the better boxing reads of 2012. And ESPN pools all its coverage at its reliably informative Fight Credential. The Washington Post, as always, sits boxing out, while The New York Times has so far; it sometimes has articles Saturday morning on the day of a big fight.
We leave you with deep thoughts from one of the weekend's two celebrity boxing promoters, Snooki. My favorite Snooki quote in this sequence: "Like, I ******', like save animals. Like, that's what I do."