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Juan Manuel Marquez wants Pacquiao at a catch weight of 143 or 144

By Dan Ambrose: WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KO’s) is interested in fighting a third fight against Manny Pacquiao if Manny will agree to fight him at a catch weight of 143 or 144, according to boxing news from ESPN’s Golpe a Golpe. Marquez, 37, says “First Pacquiao would have to accept, but I would fight him at a catch-weight of 143 or 144 pounds.” Pacquiao probably won’t accept and he won’t likely bring it up to his promoter Bob Arum, who seems to want no part of matching Pacquiao up with Marquez in another rematch.

Instead, Arum seems intent on putting Pacquiao back in with his Top Rank fighter WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto. After that, who knows. The only deviation I see Arum making from matching Pacquiao up with one of his own fighters in his stable is if Floyd Mayweather Jr. shows serious interest in fighting Pacquiao. That is likely going to be the only exception. If that fight doesn’t happen, it’s Cotto, and maybe Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., if he doesn’t taken apart by Cotto next year.

As far as Marquez wanting a fight with Pacquiao, Arum already suggested that Marquez prove himself at welterweight before he’d match Pacquiao up with him. Arum recommended that Marquez fight and beat one of the following fighters: Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, Andre Berto or Timothy Bradley. Clottey was an odd name in the bunch, because he doesn’t seem to be fighting too well. He’s lost his last two fights. However, Clottey is another one of Arum’s Top Rank fighters, and if Marquez were to fight him, it would obviously increase the value of Clottey if he were to win. He probably wouldn’t, but there would be a small chance that Clottey would throw enough punches to get the win.

Marquez should forget about Pacquiao unless he approaches Marquez for a fight, and I don’t see that happening. Pacquiao lets Arum make all the fights and he seems to be fighting the guys that Arum is lining up right now. I think Marquez just doesn’t figure into the plans that Arum has for Pacquiao in 2011. Maybe if Marquez and Pacquiao are still fighting in 2012, and Pacquiao has exhausted all of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters, maybe then he might look towards matching Pacquiao up with Marquez. I highly doubt it, though.

Marquez looked like he’s lost something in his last fight against Juan Diaz, and I don’t know that a 38-year-old Marquez will have enough left to get a third fight with Pacquiao. Marquez has a fight coming up in November against WBO lightweight interim champion Michael Katsidis. Beyond that, he can fight guys like Humberto Soto and John Murray at lightweight. Those are good fights for Marquez. He’ll do okay if he stays at lightweight and finishes his career without facing Pacquiao. There’s also Amir Khan, who seems eager to fight Marquez. If Juan Manuel wants a big money fight, Khan might be the one to look to. That would be contingent on Khan beating Marcos Maidana in December, and who knows what will happen in that fight.

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