The world’s worst kept secret is out. Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will fight a fifth time, just like everyone already knew they would. After a lot of negotiating ploys, bluffs and ridiculous comments, the most inevitable boxing match of the past 12 months has all but been officially confirmed.
On Wednesday of this week, Marquez sat down with Top Rank boss Bob Arum to discuss the terms of his rematch against Pacquiao. As noted by the Manila Bulletin, while he refused to throw an actual monetary request out there, the message was clear: give me more than I got last time. Marquez earned a cool $6 million for his fourth fight against Pacquiao – $17 million less than the man he beat.
A pay raise was to be expected.
Far more interesting than what was said at the meeting between Arum and Marquez is the fact that a meeting was held in the first place. You will recall, in what was a pretty blatant negotiating ploy, last month 39-year-old Marquez insisted that he had no desire to fight Pacquiao again. According to him, there was no point to a fifth bout, despite the fact that there was very obviously a point.
"I think for me there is no point [in a fifth fight]. We already achieved the desired result. Then why do it? So I also asked several people, several friends that I have around me and they told me not to do it, that there is no point in a fifth fight. I said before the fourth fight that no matter how this fight ends, there can not be a fifth," he said.
While a lot of fans and writers balked at that comment, Arum took it in stride. He saw right through the empty talk. Sure enough, he was right. It was all just a bluff.
In giving Pacquiao’s people the terms for a fifth fight (more money) and setting a deadline date for a decision (April), Marquez made it clear that he isn’t seriously scouting any other matches. He only has one thing on his agenda for this year.
Pacquiao-Marquez V is happening. It’s happening this year. Both fighters will be paid very handsomely for their efforts. And it’s going to be a great match.