Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez haven’t officially been given the green light for their fifth bout yet, but all involved are proceeding as though it’s a done deal. Whereas usually boxers wait to get an opponent, then they decide on a time and place, and then they begin to talk about it, everything in this particular situation has been flipped upside-down. Pacquiao, Marquez and all of their various representatives have been talking about this match for weeks now.
In a way, it’s understandable. This pair put on an epic display last December. After something of a ho-hum battle in their third fight, they came back with a sense of urgency and eager to prove a point. Marquez ultimately sealed the deal with a beautiful sixth round knockout, but there is a case to be made for Pacquiao looking better in defeat than he had in his prior three fights. Yes, an early KO is bad – but at least the Filipino star put up a decent effort in this one. His inability to close out against a hobbled, injured Timothy Bradley was embarrassing.
Pacquiao-Marquez V did about 1.15 million PPV buys, a total that was lower than what they did in the third match, but still very good. And when you take into account the fact that this was on the heels of that snoozer of a third fight, the figures look even better. Their inevitable fifth fight will likely shatter all of their previous PPV totals. Moreover, it will have a significant impact on both of their legacies going forward. If Pacquiao wins, what happened last December will be forgotten as a fluke. If he loses, then his first two victories will suddenly lose a lot of luster.
Recently, Pacquiao’s spokeswoman Rose Tamayo came out and offered some details about the former eight division champ’s next match.
"The fight is definitely in September. We will talk about the opponent and the place after the 13 May elections," she said. "Manny wants to fight outside the United States because of the taxes.
"Singapore is one of the top places for consideration. There is also Macau and Dubai."
It’s worth noting, just last week Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz suggested that he could possibly return in October. Obviously that idea was disregarded pretty quickly by all involved.
None of these public statements ever explicitly note that Marquez is Pacquiao’s next opponent, but folks can read between the lines. More money vs. less money, less risk vs. more risk and more prestige vs. less prestige. The decision sort of makes itself.
Pacquiao and Marquez will go down in September of this year, from some overseas destination, just like everyone has expected it to all along.