Since 2004, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have fought four times. Two of those bouts ended with Pacquiao squeaking out decision victories. One ended with a dominant Marquez knockout. And one, the first one, concluded in a controversial draw that would have been a Pacquiao victory if not for a judging error.
Understandably, particularly given how their fourth fight ended, fans have been salivating at the prospect of a fifth showdown between Pacquiao and Marquez for a while now. It was clear why the two needed a break from each other after last December; Pacquiao fought Brandon Rios a month ago, and Marquez took on Timothy Bradley in October. However, now that they’ve gotten that out of their systems, it’s time for a rematch.
Marquez has expressed zero interest in a fifth fight against Pacquiao. And in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz indicated that he didn’t expect that to change any time soon.
“Marquez will never fight us again,” he said. “Why would he? He has bragging rights and all the money he wants.”
Well, that depends on your perspective. Does Marquez have some bragging rights? Sure. Pacquiao never beat him via knockout – the way in which he won the fourth fight speaks for itself. That said, does it wipe out two victories for Pacquiao? No. Does it make everyone forget that the draw was only a draw because of an admitted judge’s error? No. And when it comes to money – Marquez can’t earn anything even remotely close to what he’d earn against Pacquiao unless he, you know, fights Pacquiao.
Koncz may be right about Marquez never fighting Pacquiao again, but the logic being used to justify that decision is awfully weak.
Manny Pacquiao needs an opponent for next April, and Juan Manuel Marquez seems like a logical choice. The two men have fought four times before, with two of the bouts being instant classics, one being forgettable, and one landing somewhere in between. Of all the options facing both of these guys, aside from Pacquiao taking on Floyd Mayweather Jr., this makes the most sense.
And because it makes the most sense, naturally, it won’t happen.
Marquez, 40, says he wants to fight two more times before hanging up his gloves. He wants one of the bouts to come against Timothy Bradley, and the other against whoever. Bradley, for what it’s worth, swiftly defeated him this year in what should have been a unanimous decision victory. Interestingly, though, Marquez wants no part of Pacquiao.
According to Bob Arum, that isn’t expected to change anytime soon.
During a recent interview with Boxing Scene, the Top Rank boss explained why he doesn’t foresee a Marquez-Pacquiao V showdown happening.
“Unlike many of these fighters, Marquez is an accountant,” he said. “He saved much of his money and made some very safe investments. So truly, for Marquez money is not a factor. And he figures that there is no way he can do better against Manny than he did last year. And he’s right. How much better could you be?”
The interesting thing about this is that it creates a pretty huge dilemma: Marquez wants Bradley, however, if Pacquiao doesn’t get Marquez, he’ll like target Bradley next. And seeing as Bradley can make far more fighting Pacquiao than fighting Marquez, it looks like Marquez ends up being the odd man out in that equation.
Manny Pacquiao is willing to fight all comers, and that includes Floyd Mayweather Jr. With only one or two years remaining in the sport before his body forces him to retire, the Filipino star recognizes the magnitude of his next three to four bouts. There is a reason why, two weeks after taking on and beating Brandon Rios, his camp announced that he is eyeing an April 2014 return.
The problem for Pacquiao is eerily similar to the one facing Mayweather: they need marketable opponents, not just good opponents. There are plenty of talented athletes in boxing; there aren’t all that many recognizable brand names.
Because of this, Pacquiao’s options are fairly limited: Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov.
Mayweather is always there, but history has taught us that the likelihood of nothing materializing with these two is far greater than the likelihood of something coming together.
Bradley is reportedly down, but aside from Provodnikov, he’s the least commercially viable opponent available. Plus, he is reportedly Marquez’s desired next foe, despite having just swiftly beaten him in a way that left little room for debate on who the better fighter was.
Marquez is a guy Pacquiao has wanted another crack at since December of last year, but it’s looking unlikely right now. Marquez and Pacquiao have put together numerous successful PPVs, and there is no question Marquez would make way more fighting Pacquiao than he would fighting Bradley, but for some reason he is standing firm in his desire to duck the Filipino star.
Provodnikov is a fun fighter, but he’s not getting a shot at Pacquiao. Even if Freddie Roach was cool with it, which he isn’t, this isn’t a good bout for anyone to put together.
So what does all this mean? It means, best case scenario, we get Pacquiao vs. Marquez V or Mayweather vs. Pacquiao in 2014. Worst case scenario? Bradley vs. Pacquiao II.
Manny Pacquiao seems to view his upcoming showdown against Brandon Rios as more of a formality than legitimate challenge, and it’s sort of understandable that he would have that view. The odds makers installed him as a favorite from the getgo, all of the media hoopla surrounding this matchup has been more about what will happen after the fight than during it, and Rios’ inability to draw headlines has left writers without anything particularly interesting to write about.
Everyone, starting with the fans and ending with Pacquiao, is more curious about what 2014 holds for the Filipino star than what he’ll do in 2013.
This week, Pacquiao did an interview in which he was asked to comment on Saturday’s showdown between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. Relishing the opportunity to take a shot at a guy who ducked him for all of this year, Pacquiao insisted he knew all along that Bradley would beat Marquez. In his mind, there were no questions about who the better man was and is.
Mind you, this is funny on several fronts. First of all, Pacquiao beat Bradley. Whether the final record reflects it or not, when he took on Bradley, he was clearly the winner. Conversely, Marquez destroyed Pacquiao with a knockout punch that people are still talking about. That means heading into last weekend, Pacquiao believed that a guy who he thoroughly beat up was better than a guy who beat him up.
Is anyone really buying that?
The reason why Pacquiao can get away with that sort of comment, though, is because Marquez has spent all year ducking him. Make no mistake about it: when you turn down massive payday for one of the most highly-anticipated fights of the year to fight for half the money in a bout that nobody outside of true, blue boxing fans cares about, you’re doing it because you’re ducking someone.
Marquez ducked Pacquiao, plain and simple. And because he ducked Pacquiao, the Filipino star can take as many shots as he wants at Marquez and nobody is going to feel all that bad for him.
Pacquiao, for his part, seems content with the fact that he will most likely have to fight Bradley again in 2014 – presuming he gets past Rios. Unless Marquez decides to save us all from that rematch, that fight seems inevitable.
Bob Arum’s life may actually become a lot easier if Brandon Rios defeats Manny Pacquiao next month. In that case, if the Top Rank boss decides he wants to see his Filipino star fight again, despite Freddie Roach’s protests, then he’ll make that happen. If he doesn’t, Pacquiao will retire. Either way, a Rios win makes way for an obvious next opponent: Timothy Bradley.
However, if Pacquiao defeats Rios this November, which is the most likely scenario we’re looking at, then 2014 matchmaking is going to be a little more difficult for Arum.
In order to fight Pacquiao, Rios passed on a lucrative third fight against Mike Alvarado. There is no way that, after back-to-back losses, Alvarado will still grant him a shot. Meanwhile, Pacquiao and Bradley have already fought once, to not-so-great results. Their match was panned from an entertainment perspective, did unimpressive numbers (by Pacquiao’s standards), and produced one of the most controversial decisions of the last decade.
If Arum has his way, win or lose this November, Pacquiao will not fight Bradley next – he’ll fight Juan Manuel Marquez.
Coming off his this weekend’s loss to Bradley, presumably Marquez has gotten his hunger back. After ducking a rematch against Pacquiao for the better part of a year, you have to figure that a clear, undisputable decision victory to Bradley will light a fire under the Mexican star. Sure, he did his usual sore loser routine after the fact, but Marquez didn’t become one of the best fighters of his generation by being stupid. He knows he lost to Bradley, even if his pride won’t let him admit it.
It’s hard to say what should come next for Rios if he falls to Pacquiao. However, Pacquiao’s next move is clear: He needs to fight Marquez for a fifth time and avenge the most embarrassing blemish on his record.
Marquez chased Pacquiao around the Philippines when he decided that he wanted to redeem himself. If Pacquiao gets past Rios, he needs to show the same sort enthusiasm in pursuing Marquez.
One of the more bizarre things to happen in boxing over the past year is Juan Manuel Marquez officially and firmly shutting the door on a rematch between him and Manny Pacquiao. In a sport where superstars are few and far between, nobody closes the door on second and third and fourth bouts against the same opponent because often times those are the most lucrative fights one can make.
Surely enough, Marquez has never earned bigger paydays than the ones he received fighting Pacquiao.
Despite that, though, shortly after knocking Pacquiao out in dramatic fashion last December, Marquez came out and said their rivalry was complete. He ignored the calls for a fifth match, and instead focused his attention on a far less anticipated bout against Timothy Bradley. His main justification for doing this, in his own words, is that because he beat Pacquiao in far more definitive fashion than the eight division champ beat him, there was no need for a rematch.
It’s worth noting: Pacquiao granted Marquez rematches on two different occasions.
This week, while doing media sessions promoting his showdown against Bradley, Marquez was asked about whether or not he’d be willing to fight Pacquiao again. Surprisingly, he didn’t offer a definitive no.
“I’m fighting next Saturday,” Marquez said. “Pacquiao will fight in November. I need to wait.”
However, shortly after that, perhaps realizing that he had just left himself open to a lot of gossip and speculation, Marquez clarified.
“I think the chapter with Pacquiao is closed.”
It’s pretty funny how, despite the fact that he made it abundantly clear early in 2013 that he had no intention of fighting Pacquiao again, most of the time you see Marquez’s name in the national press it’s in regards to something he said about the Filipino star.
For what it’s worth, per Boxing Scene's Chris Robinson, he’s picking the favorite to defeat the underdog this November when Pacquiao and Brandon Rios square off.
“Rios is a very strong fighter, but I think Pacquiao will win the fight.”
When Juan Manuel Marquez frantically chased Manny Pacquiao and desperately begged him for a rematch, everyone realized how badly he wanted to beat him. What perhaps went a tad bit unnoticed is why he did it.
The assumed motivation behind Marquez’s frantic scramble for another shot at his Filipino rival was just the desire to get a blemish off his record. Maybe it was more than that, though. Based on the comments he made prior to and in the direct aftermath of his 2012 knockout victory over Pacquiao, it seems like Marquez really and truly hates the guy.
For better or worse, Pacquiao and Marquez fought three really competitive fights in the lead-up to last December’s showdown. The first ended in a controversial draw. The second and third were won by Pacquiao in tight, contentious fashion. The fourth, as we all remember, was a dominant victory by Marquez.
Apparently somewhere along the way, perhaps because he felt robbed in their first three bouts, Marquez developed a lot of resentment towards Pacquiao. That resentment seeps from his words every single time he references his lone victory
"It was great,” he said during a recent HBO special for his upcoming match-up versus Timothy Bradley (transcribed by Ring). “The best thing that's ever happened to me in this sport...I believe in divine justice. This fight is proof it is real. To win the way that I did, it's like God gave me a way to do it. That punch carried the strength of my family. The strength of my entire training. The strength of my entire Mexican fans."
‘Divine justice’ isn’t typically the phrase most fighters use to describe their victories. Why? Because it implies that the other guy deserved to lose. That him falling was some form of righteousness on display.
"I felt like I could beat him after the first round. I felt strong. I felt agile. I felt fast," said Marquez, recalling the bout. "The time keeper signaled the 10 seconds left. I didn't hear anything. I was just waiting for Pacquiao to feint. When Pacquiao feints, he leans forward. I kept waiting for that feint so I could land that counter punch, and that's how I ended it."
A fifth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez is the only non-Floyd Mayweather fight that would result in a big pay day for Pacquiao. Unfortunately, it looks like Marquez dislikes his rival too much to ever let that showdown materialize.
Boxing’s best rivalries always leave fans wanting more. Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are this generation’s best example of that. It was understandable when, after fighting to a draw, people called for a second showdown between the two. After that bout, though, when Pacquiao emerged victorious via an admittedly controversial decision, there’s a reason why people still called for a third match. And a fourth one. And a fifth one.
Make no mistake about it: This is a great rivalry. Great for the cast of characters involved, the sport as a whole and the fans tuning in at home.
Last December, after three previous failed attempts, Marquez finally beat Pacquiao in dominating fashion. His sixth round knockout, nine months later, is still the most thrilling thing to occur in boxing over the past year. That being said, regardless of how clearly awesome it was, Marquez is starting to lean on it a little too much. So much so, in fact, that it’s starting to take a bit of a luster off one of the greatest rivalries this writer has ever witnessed.
"Pacquiao has been saying many things and immediately you can see that he wants me to take the bait, but he won't achieve that,” Marquez told Boxing Scene recently. “What he wants is a fifth fight, but it's not going to happen. I wish to leave this sport with the memory of knocking Pacquiao out after they stole three decisions from me. And [in the fourth fight] I showed who was the better fighter.”
Okay, let’s pause right there. Marquez showed that he could knock Pacquiao out, and that Pacquiao couldn’t knock him out. That’s all he showed. The fact of the matter is: Pacquiao was winning the bout on every judge’s scorecard prior to the punch that changed everything. Moreover, coming up on the not winning side of things in three consecutive matches prior to the one you won isn’t indicative of someone being “the better fighter.”
That’s not to say Marquez’s accomplishment wasn’t an impressive one. It was. You fight to win, and he won. But there’s only so much you can get out of a single victory, and he’s used up too much to throw out lines like this:
"I'd rather stay with the memory of that lucky punch that I connected on Pacquiao [Marquez was being sarcastic there]. It's about pride and honor, not money. That's why in that contest there was no championship at stake, only the WBO's Champion of The Decade belt.”
Pacquiao has beaten Marquez twice, both times by controversial decision. Marquez beat Pacquiao once via an uncontroversial knockout. Let’s say the latter counts as two wins. By my calculations, that still makes this series 2-2.
The fans want a tiebreaker. Pacquiao is calling for a tiebreaker. The sport needs a tiebreaker. Will Marquez ultimately agree to one? For the sake of his legacy, he better.
Manny Pacquiao was beating Juan Manuel Marquez on every judge’s scorecard heading into the seventh round of last December’s highly-anticipated showdown. Mind you, this isn’t personal opinion. It’s a matter of public record. Based on how the bout had gone up to that point, the former eight division champ was en route to another decision victory.
Of course, we know how things ultimately turned out.
As Pacquiao was preparing to coast to yet another controversial win over a foe over whom he always coasted to controversial wins over, he let his guard down and walked into a perfectly-timed counter from Marquez. Said counter sent him sprawling to the mat for the long count. By the time he regained consciousness, Marquez was already doing his first post-fight interview.
Marquez has always said that he went into that match prepared to knock Pacquiao out because he knew he wouldn’t get the decision. If that’s true, then his final punch is all the more impressive. However, it’s worth noting, he said that in the other three fights, too. Marquez always looked for the knockout – he just never got it before.
Pacquiao, for his part, doesn’t think Marquez did anything special last December. In the Filipino champ’s own words, his arch rival simply got ‘lucky’.
"It's part of boxing....sometimes you lose and sometimes you win - and I think [Marquez] just got lucky, he got a lucky break in that fight," he told the media during a recent press conference.
As you would expect, Marquez didn’t take kindly to arguably the most notable moment of his career simply being dismissed as an accident.
"I think Manny Pacquiao is throwing out some bait and hoping that I catch it,” said Marquez. “A lot of people know that it was not a stroke of luck, I was practicing [that punch] in the gym. I don't like to talk about it, but I used the same punch - two times- to drop a sparring partner [in training camp].
“I said it [before the fight] that we knew each other so well that any change that [one of use would make] was going to be so important and so it turned out in my favor. We studied him and we worked hard on our power and to see if we could catch Pacquiao [with that punch]. [But no matter what he says] there will not be a fifth fight.”
So there you go. Take this dumb war of words however you want to take it.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez likely won’t fight a fifth time. The latter has a bout set up against Timothy Bradley for later this year, and even if he prevails, at 40 years old he’ll be very tempted to hang up his gloves once and for all after that. The former has a match-up set up against Brandon Rios for November, and regardless of the outcome, it’s doubtful that his future plans include another tangle with arguably his biggest rival.
Even though their paths probably won’t cross again, it’s clear that Marquez is still very aware of the fact that he passed on a massive pay day for no real reason. Pacquiao was willing to redeem himself after last year’s embarrassing knockout defeat, however, Marquez seemed more interested in taking on a not-as-famous opponent, in a less anticipated bout, for a much smaller purse.
Recently, the 39-year-old star spoke with ESPN regarding his decision to pass on a fifth Pacquiao fight.
"Speaking sincerely, I don't think about that anymore," he said, when pressed about what could’ve been. "Anything that was pending was settled, in every way. If he would have knocked me out the way I did to him, how am I going to ask for another fight?”
Marquez’s point there seems to be that he beat Pacquiao beyond a shadow of a doubt, thus his rival doesn’t deserve a chance to redeem himself. It’s a bizarre statement given that, on two separate occasions, Pacquiao granted Marquez rematches that nobody felt like he had to grant.
"Keeping that feeling would be grandiose, and to have my Mexican supporters and the whole world enjoy that feeling and say, 'Remember the best pound-for-pound fighter that was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez?' -- to me, that is worth more than all the money in the world," he added.
While it’s certainly understandable that Marquez would want to preserve the great feeling he experienced after beating up on Pacquiao in dominant fashion, is that really a reason to duck someone? Isn’t he essentially saying: I beat him once, but I’m scared that I may not do it again?
When asked about the hefty financial reward that would’ve come with a fifth Pacquiao-Marquez fight, Marquez didn’t really offer much insight.
"We know that the offer will be tempting, but it isn't worth more than the feeling, what was lived, what was acquired after that knockout," Marquez said. "That's worth more than several million dollars. I would rather retire with this feeling than take a risk in whatever happens with Pacquiao [such as another controversial decision]."
Marquez could have earned many, many more millions fighting Pacquiao than he will in the Bradley fight. Apparently the satisfaction of knowing that he ducked his Filipino rival is worth more to him than all that dough.