Regardless of your personal feelings about the prospective bout, coming into this weekend, Juan Manuel Marquez was in great position to get another shot at Manny Pacquiao later this year.
Even though he has already had three different opportunities to beat the Filipino champion over the course of his illustrious career and failed to do so, there appeared to be enough interest from all parties involved (management, fighters and fans) to at least explore the option of making the fight happen.
The only thing that Marquez could have done to throw that opportunity away was lose to Sergey Fedchenko on Saturday night. Literally, the lone thing that could have disrupted the biggest pay day of his career, as well as his final shot at redemption against a guy he has felt as though he had beaten each time they met, was a loss versus an overmatched, overrated fighter that was barely even worth his time. It was almost a risk not worth taking.
But Marquez took it anyway.
Fortunately, it all worked out in the end. After 12 rounds of withstanding a surprisingly solid effort from his Ukrainian counterpart, the man that has consistently impressed every time out versus Pacquiao came away with something of a ho-hum, mediocre showing against a far more ordinary foe. A win is a win, though. And a win on Saturday night was all Marquez needed to ensure that he’d be a frontrunner in the sweepstakes to face Pacquiao at some point before the end of 2012.
Last week, as we noted on Opposing Views, Marquez’s people reportedly met with Pacquiao’s people in Mexico City to discuss a prospective showdown. While the specifics of what was talked about haven’t leaked yet, given the history involved, it’s tough to envision anything coming up that would disrupt this thing getting put together. Marquez will sacrifice anything. Pacquiao’s options are limited. Bob Arum seems to be behind it. And Saturday’s end result took away the only excuse anyone had to not make it happen.
Buckle in, folks – Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV appears imminent.