Marquez says his priority is a third fight with Pacquiao
By Dan Ambrose: WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez wants a third fight with Manny Pacquiao in the worst way. Marquez has twice battled Pacquiao in the past, fighting to a draw in the first bout and losing a controversial 12 round split decision in the 2nd bout in 2008.
In a perfect world, Pacquiao would have done the right thing and fought Marquez immediately in a third fight to try and clear up who the better fighter was. But for some reason, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum opted not to have him fight Margarito again, perhaps because he had proved to be too difficult for Pacquiao to fight.
Pacquiao was then put in with David Diaz, and moved along towards fights with bigger stars after that. Marquez hasn’t given up on his desire to fight Pacquiao again, and is still pushing for a third fight two years later and with Pacquiao nearing retirement.
Marquez had this to say about Pacquiao in an interview on ESPN Deportes’ Golpe a Golpe: “If my promoter [Golden Boy] and his promoter [Top Rank] can reach an agreement, let’s move on with this fight. My priority is that third fight [with Pacquiao], but it is not just my priority, it is the priority of Mexican fans, Filipino fans, and of all boxing fans. Pacquiao is a strong fighter. His speed is incredible and he has respectable punching power. I believe in our first two fights I have proved that if you fight him at the same rhythm, same speed, providing counter-punches, and using side to side movement, you can beat him. I have demonstrated it on two occasions.”
In looking at Marquez’s two fights with Pacquiao, it’s pretty clear that he has his number and appears to be the better fighter of the two, which is probably why Arum hasn’t been in a hurry to try and match Pacquiao back up with Marquez. However, Marquez’s chances may have improved recently because he’s starting to show his age, and looked bad in getting beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their 143 pound catch-weight fight last year.
Marquez, since moving up from featherweight, looks slower than he used to be an not nearly as dominating. He’s still a tough fighter, but he’s beatable now and thjis gives him a chance to get selected by Pacquiao’s team.
For Marquez to get the fight with Pacquiao, he’s going to have to beat WBO lightweight interim champion Michael Katsidis on November 27th. Marquez has to beat Katsidis and really shine in doing so for him to have a good chance at getting a third fight with Pacquiao.
However, Marquez might not want to look too good in winning, because that might exclude him because he could be deemed too dangerous. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach wants Marquez to fight Pacquiao at the full weight of the welterweight division 147 pounds, despite Marquez having shown clearly that he doesn’t have the size to fight above 140 without being slowed down to the point where he’s sluggish.
Roach obviously is just protecting his fighter Pacquiao and making it easier for him with win. It’s not exactly sporting, but what can you say? If Marquez gets offered the fight and those are the terms, he’ll take anyway.