In a feature at RingTV.com, referees Joe Cortez and Kenny Bayless, who were the officials for the first two fights between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, looked back on those two classic fights. Here are some quick excerpts:
Cortez considered stopping the first fight in the opening round, when Marquez was knocked down three times:
"When Marquez went down that third time, Pacquiao threw that last punch, and then, as Marquez was hanging on the ropes, he got hit with another shot. So I was ready to stop it when he went down the third time, but I saw in his eyes that he was still sharp," said Cortez of a bout that took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in May of In 2004.
Four years later and also with the first fight in his mind, Bayless was wowed by the recuperative powers of Marquez:
"In the first fight, after Marquez went down three times in the first round, I knew that they were flash knockdowns," said Bayless. "To see Marquez come back like he did in those middle rounds, that's where I was saying, 'Gee whiz, this guy is unbelievable.'"
Tony Weeks got the call for tonight's fight, and none of the judges from the first two fights are working tonight's bout either. Sean Mills said on Thursday that Weeks could be the man to watch tonight.
Our live coverage starts with streaming video of the off-TV undercard at 7 p.m. EST, and continues at 9 p.m. EST with live, round-by-round of the full pay-per-view card.