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12 days away: Marquez narrows odds versus Manny

MANILA, Philippines - Juan Manuel Marquez has inched closer to Manny Pacquiao as the fourth showdown between the two bitter rivals moved just 12 days away.

Marquez’ handlers at Zanfer Promotions posting recent pictures of the Mexican in training, ripped and loaded with muscles, must have made others change their minds.

As Pacquiao and Marquez started promoting the fight last September, the 39-year-old Mexican opened up as a clear underdog at +300.

It means that a hundred dollars would win $300 if you put it on Marquez, who after 36 rounds and four knockdowns has yet to score a victory over Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, now the former WBO welterweight champion following a controversial loss to Tim Bradley last June, was then a -400 favorite.

At -400, Pacquiao is the practical choice because you would need $400 just to win $100 in return, unless one is betting in the millions.

Yesterday, the fight odds at Sportsbook, the biggest online betting station in the world of sports, showed that Marquez had somehow gained ground.

The skillful Mexican counter-puncher is now at +250 and Pacquiao at -350, and it’s possible that as the days go by he’d narrow the gap a little more.

For the third fight, held last November and just as close, as controversial as the first two, Marquez was at +500 and Pacquiao at -700.

But whether it’s Pacquiao or Marquez, the current betting dictates that the fight won’t last more than 10 ½ rounds.

The line at over-10 1/2 rounds is at -300 and at under-10 ½ is at +220.

Most people think the fight won’t last the distance, as both camps have been predicting. Still  it remains a tough choice on who’s going to win.

Will it be Pacquiao or the other way around?