It wasn’t much of a secret anymore, but Manny Pacquiao and his team decided to confirm it anyway. He will fight Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time on Dec. 8 of this year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Over the past two months, Pacquiao and his camp have flip-flopped on potential end-of-year foes more times than anyone would care to count. When they were initially leaning towards fighting Timothy Bradley for a second time, boxing aficionados everywhere came out and campaigned against it. Everyone felt as though Manny has quite clearly beaten Bradley down in the pair’s June 9 fight, and nobody saw much of a point in rehashing that.
Pacquiao’s other two opponent options, Marquez and Miguel Cotto, were met with much warmer receptions. Each brought their own fair share of positives and negatives to the table, but both would almost certainly put up legitimate fights against the Filipino champion. That’s all anyone ever wanted – a legitimate contest between two quality boxers.
When Cotto committed himself to a Dec. 1 match a couple of weeks back, that just left Bradley and Marquez. Folks were hoping that the champ would settle on the latter, obviously, but his hesitation made everyone sweat for a bit.
Well, today Pacquiao ended the debate once and for all – he’s going to be taking on Marquez. Shortly after word leaked out to just about everywhere that an official decision had been made, Michael Koncz set down with the good folks at Boxing Scene and explained why they had picked Marquez over Bradley.
“It's very simple. Manny wants to put on an entertaining show for the fans. We know that we have the Filipino fans, the whole country, but we also know we have a large following of Mexican fans. Mexicans are tremendous boxing people. I've been in Mexico with him on two vacations. He's loved and respected over there,” Koncz said.
“We were hurt a little bit at the last Marquez fight, when we heard the booing and stuff. So we know that we lost some of our Mexican fans. Back to the entertainment aspect of it, this is the only fight available to us at this time - that we can give the best entertainment dollar to the fans - is with Marquez. [We] won't [be able to provide] the same entertainment value to the fans if we fight Bradley. The other reason we chose Marquez is that we want to win back some of the Mexican fans that we lost in the last Marquez fight.”
So there you go. That’s the half-truth breakdown of why we're getting the fight that we're getting. The real and only reason Marquez is getting the nod here is because of the ridiculous disparity in PPV sales between a potential Pacquiao-Marquez IV fight and a Pacquiao-Bradley II fight. Pacquiao-Marquez III did around 1.3 million in sales, whereas Pacquiao-Bradley did 950,000.
The math speaks for itself.
(Kudos Boxing Scene)