by Johnny Walker
Since he destroyed his arch rival Manny Pacquaio with a crushing knockout last December, Juan Manuel Marquez has given out mixed signals as to whether he’d be open to facing the Pac-Man in the squared circle for a fifth time.
Statements from the Marquez camp have run the gamut from Juan Manuel’s family begging him to retire, to Marquez himself feeling there is nothing left to for him prove against the Pinoy hero, to an open-ended, never say never.
Now, a report on philstar.com says that Marquez is indeed willing to mix it with Manny one more time: for the hefty fee of $20 million dollars.
According to the report, “Marquez has asked his promoter, Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, to seek the best deal possible [deal] with Top Rank’s Bob Arum.”
The report says that the Mexican newspaper Esto confirms that Marquez’s fee for continuing what has become a historic boxing rivalry is indeed $20 million dollars. In their last fight, Marquez was guaranteed $6 million while Pacquiao made $23 million.
“It may be too much for him to ask for $20 million. But maybe that’s just an initial figure in order to get the negotiations going. He may end up settling for half of that,” a source tells philstar.com.
Marquez also favors the bout taking place in November or December, the Esto article says. Promoter Bob Arum has been talking about a September date for the two veteran ring warriors.
Marquez would like to take on another opponent before meeting up with Pac-Man again: Tim Bradley, who beat Paquiao in a controversial split decision, is one candidate, though he is fighting tough Russian challenger Ruslan Provodnikov in March, so the timing there might be tricky.
Slugger Brandon Rios, who rematches Mike Alvarado at the end of March, is another candidate on Marquez’s wish list.
As for Pacquiao, it is said that he also wants to take a tune-up bout before meeting Marquez for the fifth and likely the final time.
But to reiterate, never say never …. the fourth bout was also said by both men to be the definite conclusion of their ring rivalry.
And now it looks like a fifth may be on the way.