The Manny Pacquiao-Juan Mánuel Márquez 4 pay-per-view undercard will feature three world championship battles, the professional debut of the gem of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, and a little Snooki on the side.
Promoted by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who will be making his promotional debut, undefeated former World Featherweight Champion YURIORKIS GAMBOA, of Cuba, will take on Top-10 contender MICHAEL FARENAS, of the Philippines, for the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super featherweight title; JAVIER FORTUNA of the Dominican Republic will rumble with Snooki-promoted PATRICK HYLAND of Ireland, in a battle of undefeated contenders, with the WBA interim featherweight title at stake; International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight champion MIGUEL VAZQUEZ of México will defend his crown against undefeated Top-Five contender MERCITO GESTA of the Philippines; and the highly-decorated Méxican-American amateur sensation and 2012 U.S. Olympian JOSE RAMÍREZ, of Avenal, Calif, will be making his professional debut in a four-round lightweight bout.
The six professional warriors boast a combined record of 159-6-5 (95 KOs) – a winning percentage of 94%.
Gamboa (21-0, 16 KO), the former world featherweight champion who won Olympic gold in 2004 for his native Cuba and now resides in Miami, Fla., will make his 2012 debut having won eight of his previous 11 fights by stoppage. He boasts world title victories over Orlando Salido, Jonathan Barros, Jorge Solis and Rogers Mtagwa. Farenas (33-3-4, 25 KOs), of Paranque City, Philippines, is managed by former two-division world champion and Filipino icon Gerry Peñalosa, trained by Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez and promoted by Pacquiao’s MP Promotions. With only one loss in his previous 29 bouts, 17 of his last 24 victories have come by way of knockout. Farena enters this fight after challenging undefeated WBA super featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama, on July 16, in a hotly-contested fight was stopped in the third round when the defending champion suffered a bad cut over his right eye due to a head butt. This was declared a technical draw.
Fortuna (20-0, 15 KOs), of La Romana, Dominican Republic, has won five of his last seven bouts by knockout. The former WBC Youth featherweight champion, who is promoted by Sampson Boxing, enters his first world championship fight rated No. 2 by the WBA.
Hyland (27-0, 12 KOs), of Dublin, Ireland, is promoted by MTV “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and her company Team Snooki Boxing. A former Irish and IBF International featherweight champion, The Pride of Ireland has won all three of his fights this year en route to his career-high No. 6 rating in the WBA.
Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs), of Guadalajara, México, captured the vacant IBF lightweight title in 2010 winning a unanimous decision over Ji-Hoon Kim. He has successfully defended his crown four times during his two-year reign, most recently against Marvin Quintero on October 27. Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KOs), of Cebu, Philippines, has been touted as the boxing heir-apparent to Pacquiao. He hasn’t gone the distance in a fight in over a year having won all his 2012 bouts by knockout. He is currently world-rated No. 5 by the IBF.
Ramírez, 20, who began boxing when he was 8, surpassed Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Shane Mosley to become USA Boxing’s all-time lightweight record holder. The No. 1-rated amateur lightweight in the U.S., Ramírez’s resume boasts 145 victories and 11 National titles. His trophy case glistens with gold including: U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion (2012), National Champion (2010-2011), Junior Olympic National Champion (2010-2011) and USA Boxing National Champion (2011.)
All-new editions of HBO’s all-access reality series 24/7 PACQUIAO/MARQUEZ 4 debut on Saturday, December 1 (9:30-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) – while the finale debuts Friday, December 7 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT), the night before the high-stakes welterweight showdown. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO®.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs), of the Philippines, and Márquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs), of México, who have won world titles in 12 weight divisions between them, will go mano a mano and toe-to-toe, for the fourth time, in a 12-round welterweight battle, Saturday, December 8, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.