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Business of Boxing: Marquez’s Demands Aren’t Unreasonable

by Charles Jay

Indications are that Juan Manuel Marquez would be happy to fight Manny Pacquiao a fourth time. Of course, the money would have to be right, but that’s nothing different than any fight.

Marquez’s biggest demand, which reflects his biggest concern, involves the site of the fight.

He does not want it to be Las Vegas. As far as he’s concerned, he’s been down that road too many times with Pacquiao. Having been on the short end of two decisions that he considered to be a robbery, and a draw that was controversial, he figures the deck is stacked against him.

Is it? Well, I’m not sure that’s even material at this point. If HE’s convinced of it, you’re going to have a hard time convincing him otherwise. Psychologically, he’s got little or no comfort level there, and the presence of the Top Rank headquarters in Las Vegas may not be an insignificant factor, whether he is signed to them or not.

His feeling is that he’ll get a better shake in a locale where the decisions don’t “favor the money,” as many people have put it. From a peace of mind standpoint, could you really blame him?

You know, Las Vegas isn’t the only place a fight like this could be held. It’s a big country, or, as Marquez might tell you, a big continent. If there is to be a fourth fight with Pacquiao, he would like for it to be in either Mexico or Texas.

Does Top Rank have to accede to his wishes? Well, since it takes two to tango, I guess they would have to, if they wanted the fight badly enough.

Do they NEED the fight?

That depends on your perspective. I don’t think he ABSOLUTELY needs the fight. He can survive and move on without it. maybe the question is whether Pacquiao can move forward with as much prestige as he was proceeding before? There may be a different answer to that question. If a lot of people thought you lost, the less luster, for lack of a better word (actually that’s not a bad word) you’re going to carry along with you. This last fight may have been a moral victory for Marquez, and Team Pacquiao would like to reverse that “moral defeat.”

Let’s face it; Top Rank wouldn’t be pursuing another rematch unless they thought it would be very useful to have.

Having said that, Marquez probably has some leverage, especially if he really believes he would never win a decision over Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

Forget about Mexico. I just couldn’t see Pacquiao going there. That is not a neutral site by any means, any more than Manila would be. Of course they’ll draw. But is there truly any reason to go there?

Texas is different. There is proven drawing power in the site (Cowboys Stadium), as Pacquiao has fought there twice. Sure, there would be a lot of Mexicans in the crowd. A LOT of them. But as long as three of them weren’t sitting in judges’ chairs, I don’t see where Pacquiao would have any excuse to avoid the place; after all, he fought Antonio Margarito there.

Certainly there are a limited number of places for huge live gate opportunities. But there is no reason a fight like this has to be married to Las Vegas, and no reason Marquez couldn’t lodge a reasonable objection.

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