Over the past week it has gotten increasingly less clear whether or not Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will fight for a fifth time. A huge part of negotiating future bouts centers around bluffing and misdirection, so in some ways it makes sense that there would be a ton of false hearsay floating around. Then again, given the chaotic mess that Pacquiao’s camp has been ever since last December’s loss, it could just be that they are legitimately confused right now.
Let’s start at the beginning. You will recall, two weeks ago Marquez came out and essentially said that he didn’t want to fight his arch rival again. To him, for whatever reason, there was no point. Sure Pacquiao granted him four separate shots to earn a single victory, but does that mean Marquez needs to reciprocate the favor? (Answer: yes) Not in his mind.
"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," Marquez said.
Shortly after those comments went viral, Bob Arum came out and basically said that Marquez was bluffing. He insisted that it was all part of negotiations.
“Believe me, Pacquiao-Marquez 5 will happen,” Top Rank Chief Executive Bob Arum told The Manila Times on Wednesday in a phone interview.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s legendary trainer, echoed those sentiments.
"What other fight for him is out there? Is he going to fight Mayweather again? Can he beat Mayweather? He got killed by Mayweather. So 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."
So that was late last week. Two key members of Pacquiao’s team were absolutely certain that the Marquez fight would happen.
Days later, Pacquiao’s oft-confused advisor Michael Koncz dropped this tidbit in an interview with RingTV:
"Yes, Marquez is a possibility, but there are other fighters that are possibilities too. We're negotiating, and if we can come to terms on the money, we'll do it, and if not, then it's up to Manny," said Koncz.
"Nothing is definite. Manny hasn't made his mind up when he's going to fight or who he's going to fight or where he's going to fight. I'm in negotiations with Top Rank right now on Manny's behalf, but we haven't made any decisions yet."
Got all that?
In less than a week we have gotten two conflicting reports regarding the status of a fifth match between Pacquiao and Marquez. A perfect example of the sort of mixed messages the Filipino star’s camp has been sending as of late. (Or, to be more exact: whenever Koncz opens his mouth.)