by Charles Jay
Juan Manuel Marquez doesn’t really see what purpose another fight against Manny Pacquiao would serve.
He feels that he’s achieved what he’s wanted to achieve, and that he’d just as soon do something else.
He doesn’t think Pacquiao gave him anything in the way of a tremendous opportunity when he granted him a fourth fight.
He says that he knew there could not be a fifth fight between the two, even before the last fight, which he won by knockout.
He says that Pacquiao is the one who wanted the fourth more than he did, because, essentially, the world knew what happened in fight #4 and Pacquiao wanted to prove that controversial win was no fluke.
He says, in effect, that he is the one who did Pacquiao the favor.
He says that the fans wouldn’t really interested in seeing these two fellows tangle again.
Well, on some of that he is right, but as for the rest of it, he is demonstrating a vivid imagination.
When a fighter says things like this, what he is really saying is that any preliminary discussions that have taken place about a particular fight have not produced an offer that is good enough.
Yes, he is negotiating. A smart fighter is ALWAYS negotiating.
Of course he doesn’t OWE Pacquiao anything. No fighter owes anything to anybody. It’s not written anywhere that he HAS to give a fight to anybody. And the sanctioning bodies can’t leverage these situations any more; after all, who even cares if that last fight was for a title?
Remember that the guy on the other side of that table is Bob Arum, and knows all the tricks in the book. Both Pacquiao and Marquez have promotional agreements with Top Rank, which means that Arum is going to have a say in whatever and against whomever either of these guys fights. In turn, that means no one is going to bend over backwards do Marquez any favors if his recent statements are absolute.
When fighters have been around the game for a while, and they have had experience at a high level of competition and compensation, they can’t help but develop at least a little savvy about what this business is all about. Neither Pacquiao nor Marquez have any delusions about “legacy,” despite what a lot of armchair “experts” would have you believe.
For the most part, it is about the compensation; the mean green, and that is pointing toward one thing.
Marquez just wants more of it.
He figures he deserves it. And what the hell? He probably does. He has, at this point, earned it. Sure, Pacquiao may have been motivated by the desire to prove that the narrow victories he had gained over Marquez were not an accident, and wanted to put an end to any dispute. He also knew there was a nice payday involved.
Marquez wanted another shot at Pacquiao, who he probably thought he had beaten three times, at least in his own mind.
And he knew there was a nice payday involved.
Now there is a better one. At his age (he’d be 40 by the time this fight took place) it had better be a great one, because it could be his last. And now he is in the best position he’ll ever be in to command it. A fifth fight with Pacquiao would bring him the largest purse of his career. When you’re 40, that’s a very neat trick.
Yeah, Marquez can earn a few bucks fighting other guys, and Arum will be happy to accommodate him, if there is a profit to be made in doing so. But there is a treasure chest here, and for the first time, Marquez can play the role of the guy who is in charge of the expedition.
Pacquiao is in a rough place. While we know he could just retire if he wanted to, as he has other interests that could occupy his time, it doesn’t look like he’s got a Floyd Mayweather fight as an option, and unless he gets some payback against Marquez for the only “no doubt” fight in their quartet of battles, he won’t carry as much of a cachet into whatever alternative fight he chose to put together.
So ultimately these guys may do EACH OTHER a favor this time and decide that the fifth fight is the most appropriate way for them to go trotting off…..not into the sunset, mind you, but over to the bank, after which they’ll make a decision as to what to do next.