Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have one thing in common right now: they don’t have all that many options when it comes to who they’ll fight next.
As boxers get older and wiser, presuming they can keep winning consistently, their field of potential foes dwindles dramatically over the years. Essentially, all possible opponents have to fulfill these three prerequisites: 1.) be a big draw 2.) be exciting 3.) be just dangerous enough to make things interesting, but not so dangerous that the risk isn’t worth the reward.
It's hard to find young guys who meet the criteria.
Earlier this month, after it was all but etched in stone that he would fight Pacquiao for a fifth time in 2013, Marquez came out and said that he wasn’t interested in offering his rival a rematch. According to him, there was no point.
Unsurprisingly that sentiment was met with a lot of vitriol and angst from boxing fans who believed that Pacquiao-Marquez IV should happen; however, it was also met with a relatively ho-hum reaction from Bob Arum and Freddie Roach. Having both been in the industry long enough, they saw Marquez’s comments for what they were: a negotiating ploy.
Surely enough, a few weeks after pretending as though he wasn’t interested in granting Pacquiao a rematch, Marquez has apparently changed his mind. Per a recent report from the Mexican newspaper Esto, the 39-year-old is in fact open to giving his rival another shot – at a price.
He reportedly wants $20 million for a fifth fight.
Now, just to put that in perspective: Marquez made $6 million guaranteed in the last match; Pacquiao made $23 million. You could justify that split given where each man was at that point in their careers at the time, but things done changed since this past December.
Marquez deserves more money.
If Pacquiao truly wants a shot at redemption, there is only one thing for him to do: tell Arum and Co. to give Marquez about $14 million. It is the happy medium between what his 39-year-old rival wants and what he deserves. Marquez isn’t actually expecting $20 million for the fifth bout. This, like his prior statements, is a negotiating ploy. But the onus is on Pacquiao’s camp to find a number that works – and they should be the ones to make a concession.
Pacquiao and Marquez will fight one another this year because, regardless of what either one says, their options are extremely limited. It’s just a matter of working out the kinks.