Don’t look now, but a fourth installment of Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez appears to be heading our way.
Back in November of 2011, Pacquiao and Marquez participated in one of the most exciting and contentious big-name fights of the year. While many expected Pacquiao to make quick work of his older opponent en route to a knockout finish, the bout actually wound up going the distance – with some feeling as though Marquez had fought the better match. Eventually the judges gave the win to Pacquiao, though, and when that happened, the public outcry for a rematch could be heard all over the world. (Seriously, all over the world. That’s the sort of international appeal this shindig had.)
In the months since then, that outcry has quieted down dramatically. Somewhere between Pacquiao dangling a perspective bout versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. in front of fans and him eventually agreeing to a much less appealing match against Timothy Bradley, everyone forgot about the fight the entire boxing world wanted to see more than any other on the morning of Nov. 13, 2011.
Everyone except Pacquiao and Marquez, apparently. According to the good folks at Boxing Scene, both men’s representatives are currently in discussions to put together a fight in Mexico City at some point in the foreseeable future. As per the report:
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BoxingScene.com has been advised by promoter Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, who represents Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6, 39KOs), that he started discussions with the representatives of Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38KOs) to stage a possible fourth clash at the new Arena Mexico in Mexico City.
Beltran states the discussions with Pacquiao's reps have gone well. This Saturday, Marquez will stage the first ever boxing event at the new Arena Mexico.
This is huge on several levels.
First and foremost, the fact that representatives for both sides are meeting this early in the process means that this matchup is legitimate possibility, not just something that's given false life thanks to internet gossip (read: Pacquiao vs. Sergio Martinez). Secondly, a showdown between Pacquiao and Marquez, given the ages of all involved, would have to happen sometime really soon. If it has to happen sometime really soon, that means Pacquiao’s much-ballyhooed battle versus Mayweather is definitely not going to happen at any point within the next year (which we suspected anyway). That’s actually huge news in itself.
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And finally, it means that Marquez will probably get one last shot to beat his arch rival in what will undoubtedly be the biggest fight of his career. When is the last time a guy that’s lost twice and never actually beaten arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport got a fourth shot at that same fighter? The answer is: never.
Is Pacquiao versus Marquez Part Four the fight that everyone wanted to see at this point? Probably not. Is it a lot better than some of the other options that have been proposed? Absolutely.
We’ll keep an eye on talks as they progress.