[PHOTO - Bob Arum said there’s no question that Manny Pacquiao will be the huge and overwhelming favorite against Juan Manuel Marquez.]

MANILA, MAY 30, 2011 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Bob Arum said there’s no question that Manny Pacquiao will be the huge and overwhelming favorite against Juan Manuel Marquez.

And that the two previous fights between them, both close and controversial, at 126 and 130 pounds, won’t matter as far as the odds for the third one is concerned.

“Because everybody is now convinced how great Manny Pacquiao is,” said Arum in a phone call he made from Los Angeles yesterday morning.

Besides, Marquez will be facing Pacquiao in a weight class he’s not suited for.

The fight is set Nov. 12 in Las Vegas with Pacquiao staking the WBO welterweight crown he won against Miguel Cotto, and defended against Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley.

Marquez has fought only once over 140 pounds, and he took a lopsided loss against Floyd Mayweather in 2009. Against Pacquiao, at a catchweight of 144, he’ll be in for a tougher time.

“They (oddsmakers) haven’t posted it yet. But it will really depend on the early betting,” said Arum, adding that while it could be pretty close, it can’t be pretty even.

“But it won’t be as big as the odds against Shane Mosley,” he said.

Pacquiao fought Mosley last May in Las Vegas, and the odds went heavily in favor of the Filipino pound-for-pound champion, going as high as 9-1 in some betting stations.

Odds for the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy could move around 5-1 in favor of Pacquiao.

He’s never been the underdog since his first fight with Erik Morales in 2005, and against Oscar dela Hoya in 2008, and Pacquiao sounded like he wants the feeling back.

“Baka sa laban na ito dehado na tayo (Maybe in this we’d be the underdog),” he said.

No, that’s not going to happen.

Notes: Bob Arum said the press tour for Pacquiao-Marquez III will take place end of August, with Manila as the kickoff stop. He said he’s looking at the Araneta Coliseum, site of the historic Thrilla in Manila more than 35 years ago. From Manila, the press tour takes another stop in Asia, in Tokyo. But there could be changes, Arum said, as they’re also looking at Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Then it’s off to London, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City. Tickets to the fight, the chief promoter said, will be priced $1,200 for ringside, and $900, $600, $400 and $200 for the higher sections. They should be out by August.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved