Here is what we know for certain: Manny Pacquiao is going to fight someone this May or June, before his eventual fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. some time around November. The idea of not fighting anyone until November is completely off the table and, as such, the Filipino champion and his camp have to figure out which potential opponent best fits what they’re looking to achieve in the fight before the biggest fight of Pacquiao’s career.
Needless to say, there is a lot on the line here. If Pacquiao goes down to any of the prospective opponents rumored to be vying for a shot at him this spring, there will be hell to pay on every front. Should he lose to anyone, be it Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson, Timothy Bradley or Miguel Cotto, the Filipino champion’s market value immediately plummets, as does his all-time ranking in boxing history.
Because he understands the tightrope that he must now walk between giving the fans what they want against Mayweather and choosing a qualified, legitimate opponent for his early 2012 bout, Pacquiao made a very wise decision on Thursday. While speaking to the press, here is what the champ had to say in regards to arranging another rematch against Marquez (via The Philippine Star):
“Basta hindi bababa sa $28 million,” he told reporters.
Loosely translated, if Pacquiao has to fight Marquez – he wants folks to show him the moolah. Or, more specifically, $28 million in moolah.
Over the span of his career, no other fighter has challenged Pacquiao on a consistent basis as much as Marquez has. For whatever reason, be it style or attitude, Marquez has the Filipino champion’s number. In their three past bouts, a legitimate case could be made for two judges’ decisions that went in Pacquiao’s favor possibly going the other way.
And if any of them had gone the other way, the landscape of boxing would look very different today.
So Pacquiao laid it down in General Santos City, and rightfully so. If the people want to see him fight Marquez, he’ll oblige the request. But given everything he’s risking so close to the Mayweather fight, he wants to get properly compensated.
Regardless of whether or not this latest reincarnation of Pacquiao vs. Marquez ultimately comes together, you have to give the champ credit – he played this one the right way on every front.