MANILA, Philippines – Boxing fans have voted the fourth fight between great rivals Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the sports' "Event of the Year" for 2012, RingTV announced Wednesday.
According to RingTV's Dough Fischer, the Pacquiao-Marquez fight garnered 74% of the 1,000 votes, beating out the dueling Las Vegas shows on September 15 (12.4%); Floyd Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto (11%) and Ricky Hatton's return to the ring (2.6%).
Fischer noted that the fourth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez was "met with mixed reaction when it was announced," especially as the two boxers faced each other for the third time just over a year ago.
"The future Hall-of-Famers' three previous fights were all hotly contested, but each 12-round bout also resulted in a hotly disputed decision that did not favor Marquez, who was 0-2-1 against his arch-rival," he said.
"Why would a fourth bout any different? And who was going to pay to watch the two aging veterans basically cancel each other out to yet another controversial verdict?"
But despite the misgivings of many fans, Fischer said Pacquiao-Marquez IV still did remarkably well at the box office, as the MGM Grand Garden Arena was packed on December 8. The bout generated a live gate of over $10.5 million and sold an estimated 1.15 million in pay-per-view.
The fight saw Marquez finally get his vindication as he knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round.
"The post-fight buzz from Pacquiao-Marquez IV overshadowed sporting/entertainment event on December 8, including the UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs Diaz broadcast," Fischer said.
"The dialogue and discourse continued, not only among fight fans through the internet and social media, but within the mainstream media, for two weeks following the fight," he added.
The third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez in November 2011 was also voted "Event of the Year."