(Editor's note: In conjunction with HBO, Yahoo! Sports will feature special diaries from Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as they ready for their fourth fight on Dec. 8.)
If you would have told me in 2004 that I would be fighting Juan Manuel Márquez in 2012 – and for the fourth time – well, I would not have believed it.
But here we are and for a good reason. Our previous three fights have been great; great for us and great for our fans.
Unlike my three fights against Erik Morales, which were fought closer together and at the same weight, Juan Manuel and I have battled each other at three different weight classes and always at important points in our careers. There is a certain feeling of destiny in our rivalry. It was meant to be that we fight each other four times.
All of my fights with Márquez are important. He is a legend. Perhaps the best fighter México has ever produced next to Julio César Chávez. But Márquez does not define my career. My career is defined by many significant victories. World titles in eight different weight divisions and knockouts of Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Ricky Hatton mean as much to my career as my victories over Márquez.
Champions are competitors first and foremost. They want to win. They need to win. I have put EVERYTHING into this training camp. I know I haven’t fought perfect fights against Márquez in the past and my incentive in this one is to fight the fight I should fight this time. If I do that I will not only win again but put away all doubts in the minds of the fans and Márquez on who is the better fighter. I want everyone to know the old Manny Pacquiao is still alive in the ring. Speed and aggression will be my main weapons and if the knockout presents itself to me I will go for it, as many times as it takes.
What does this fourth fight with Márquez mean to me? It means the chance to author the final chapter of a marvelous story and to look forward to writing a new chapter in my ring life.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 takes place Saturday, Dec. 8, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.