(Reuters) - Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring on December 8 for a fourth battle against long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, the fight's promoters said on Friday.
The two fighters, who last met in November when Pacquiao beat Marquez with a controversial majority decision, will meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Top Rank said in a statement.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) has fought just once since then, surrendering his WBO welterweight title on a hotly disputed split decision to American Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas in June.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) and Pacquiao are renowned for their aggressive approach in the ring and they fought to a draw when they first met in May 2004.
The Mexican then lost his WBC super-featherweight title to the Filipino in a controversial one-point split decision in March 2008.
Ten months ago, Pacquiao was tested to the full in their third encounter before narrowly retaining his WBO welterweight title after his preparations had been hampered by various distractions, including marital difficulties.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Gene Cherry