Manny Pacquiao’s fifth and final fight against Juan Manuel Marquez will be officially announced at some point in April. Both sides have met on several occasions and terms have been exchanged.
In a nutshell: Marquez, understandably, wants more money than he earned in his prior bouts. Pacquiao, while he knows that he cannot demand $17 million more than his counterpart again, doesn’t want to part ways with too much dough. A balance will be reached because, at the end of the day, this fight still offers all involved the biggest available pay day.
Unfortunately, because the only negotiating leverage Marquez has at this point is the threat of not allowing Pacquiao to avenge his most recent defeat, reports are surfacing every week about him contemplating other opponents. So far, Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley have both been discussed as supposedly feasible options.
It’s not going to happen.
Even though Rios will probably beat Mike Alvarado this month, he still lacks the star power necessary to sell a match the way Pacquiao can. When you couple that with the fact that the 26-year-old has all of the skills necessary to beat Marquez, the risk/reward math just doesn’t work. In the case of Bradley, while he lacks the knockout power to really be a legitimate threat to this new Hulk version of Marquez, he also brings very little in the way of marketability to all of his matches. Even if you take into account how legitimately he brawled this past Saturday night, reputations are hard to shake. And right or wrong, Bradley has a reputation for being a boring fighter.
On Saturday night, after Ruslan Provodnikov fell to Bradley in a pretty epic war, Freddie Roach explained to Radio Rahim why the fifth Marquez fight was inevitable. (Nine minute mark)
He’s right, of course. That’s the point we’ve been making all along. No one else affords Marquez the same financial incentive for a match that Pacquiao does. And when you are 39 years old with only one or two bouts remaining in your career, money suddenly starts to matter a lot more.