A fourth showdown between Manny Pacquiao and his longtime rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, will happen. Yes, it’s not official yet. Sure, Pacquiao still needs to fight Timothy Bradley on June 9. And okay, Floyd Mayweather Jr. may shock the world and come out of jail appreciating the prospect of a Dream Match much more than he did going in. At the moment, however, all signs point another bout between Pacquiao and Marquez being inevitable.
Seeing as just about everyone knows that a fourth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez is a foregone conclusion, the folks involved are already hard at work trying to figure out the best way to put it together.
Last week, we saw Top Rank boss Bob Arum try to play it coy in regards to negotiating this bout, making it seem like dealing with Marquez and his camp was no big deal. We noted here on Opposing Views that Arum’s nonchalant attitude was just him trying to retain leverage for talks and, really, all signs point to that being as true today as it was then.
Recently, however, Marquez flipped the script. Now he’s trying to make a power play, particularly in regards to the locale of a potential fight between him and Pacquiao. As reported by Boxing Scene:
"For a new fight with Pacquiao, I'm going to ask for us not to do it in Las Vegas. I have robbed there three times, and I do not want it happening again. I disagree with the manner of designating the judges by the Commission of Nevada. I will ask for the fight to be made in Texas or California, where things are more flexible in a matter of [selecting] judges. Moreover, if you will, the judges should be integrated with a Mexican, a Filipino and an American. What I want is to have honest, impartial judges appointed," Marquez said.
It’s hard to envision Marquez winning this battle. While it’s admittedly getting more and more difficult to find worthy challengers for Pacquiao, it’s still far more lucrative for Marquez to fight Pacquiao than it is for Pacquiao to fight Marquez. That, in turn, gives the Filipino champion a lot more leverage when it comes to setting terms and making demands than it would be for Dinamita.
Could Pacquiao and Arum ultimately agree to these terms? Sure. Will they? Probably not.