Most boxing fans are realistic enough to acknowledge that fight locale matters. In the case of high-profile, superstar-laden showdowns, setting may not completely change the course of a given match, but it definitely plays some sort of role.
Juan Manuel Marquez is hoping that tiny difference is what will help him earn his first ever victory over arch rival, Manny Pacquiao, when and if the pair fights again.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that Pacquiao versus Marquez IV isn’t official yet. Even though most are speculating that this bout will get put together after the Filipino champion’s June showdown against Timothy Bradley, we’ve been fooled by things that have appeared imminent in the past. (“Mayweather-Pacquiao has to happen!”)
That being said, between representatives from both sides meeting in Mexico City last week and Marquez’s obvious desire for redemption, this showdown appears to be as much of a virtual certainty as anything can be when you're talking about the Sweet Science.
Following his victory over Sergey Fedchenko this past weekend, all the new WBO's interim-junior welterweight title holder could gush about was getting another shot at righting a past wrong.
“I hope to get news about a fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao, sooner than later. I'll go against a lefty on July 14 in Texas," Marquez told Boxing Scene.
But for Marquez, it’s not just about simply getting another shot at Pacquiao. He also wants make sure that he earns the win that’s been evading him since the pair’s first infamous draw. And after the controversial way that their November 2011 showdown ended, Marquez wants to guarantee “fairness” in the next match.
“I am hoping promoter Fernando Beltran can bring the fourth fight against Pacquiao to ArenaMexico,” Marquez told Ricardo Lois of The Examiner.
For what it’s worth, Marquez made those comments following his ho-hum victory over Fedchenko in that very same Arena Mexico. So, maybe he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao in Mexico City because it will give him a better shot at a win, maybe he just wants to go out in front of his own fans.
Either way, though, Pacquiao is renowned for his pickiness and desire to do things on his terms. Whether it’s not submitting to performance-enhancing drug (PED) testing in what he felt was unfriendly territory, opting not to turn in tax documents that he felt like he didn't need to submit or not agreeing to purse split with Mayweather that he didn’t particularly approve of – the Filipino champ clearly marches to the beat of his own drum.
With that in mind, it’s hard to envision him agreeing to throw down against Marquez for a fourth time in Mexico City.
Time will tell, though.