Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez should fight one more time. Their original plan of squaring off in late 2013 made sense for all involved. It would have provided both men with the biggest available payday while also giving the fans exactly what they want. Unfortunately, as is often the case in boxing these days, the bout that makes the most sense isn’t always the bout that gets made.
Earlier this week, Marquez came out and essentially said that he wasn’t interested in giving his arch rival a chance to redeem himself. When pressed on fighting Pacquiao at some point toward the end of this year, the 39-year-old claimed that he saw no possible benefit from doing that. He had achieved his desired result last December, and he saw no reason to commit himself to a repeat performance.
Marquez’s logic is faulty, at best, but that is what he's using to justify his decision. He doesn’t feel like he needs to fight Pacquiao again. Therefore he won’t. End of story.
Apparently not. While boxing fans were dismayed to learn of Marquez’s decision to duck Pacquiao, Bob Arum and Freddie Roach took it all in stride. They think this is all just a bluff.
“Believe me, Pacquiao-Marquez 5 will happen,” Top Rank Chief Executive Bob Arum told The Manila Times on Wednesday in a phone interview.
Negotiations, this is about negotiations,” Arum said without elaborating.
Freddie Roach agreed.
"What other fight for him is out there? Is he going to fight Mayweather again? Can he beat Mayweather? He got killed by Mayweather.Sso what's the biggest fight out there? Can he fight the young guys coming up? He'll negotiate when it gets closer, I'm not worried about that. He really doesn't have anything else. Bradley and all of those other guys out there, he's not going to make the money that he would for Pacquiao
"The thing is, he won the fight so he's going to get more money. I think that this fight, because the fourth one was so exciting, this is bigger than Mayweather-Pacquiao right now. The third fight was boring, so not that many people were interested in the fourth. But the fourth fight may been the best one [in the series], both ways. It was back and forth, both guys were on the deck. In this one, both of them will make a lot of money. I'm not worried about negotiations, Bob Arum will do his job."
Just days before Marquez said that he would not fight Pacquiao a fifth time, his promoter directly contradicted that statement.
"Juan Manuel Márquez already confirmed to me that he plans to continue [his career] in boxing and [told me] it is necessary to begin to review offers, to see the plans, to begin [the next steps] the following big fight [from last December]. He already spoke with his wife and children, with his family, and they support him in continuing [his career]," Fernando Beltran said.
"The two fighters do not want to pay so many taxes, and yes there is the possibility that it will happen in Macau, which is something that [Top Rank CEO] Bob [Arum] likes. [Arum] will do a show [in Macau] in April and he will see what we can do there and what kind of purses [we can get for the fighters] and other aspects. But there is also the new arena in Mexico City."
At times like this, it's probably best to defer to the professionals. Marquez doesn’t sound like someone who wants to fight Pacquiao again, but Arum and Roach being confident that he does goes some ways in making the boxing community confident, too.
We’ll all find out what’s what soon enough.