Filipino Sage: Manny Pacquiao Should Fight Juan Manuel Marquez
LAS VEGAS -- Earlier this month, top Rank CEO Bob Arum spoke to FanHouse concerning the May 7, Showtime pay per view televised, WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title defense of by eight-division champion, Manny Pacquiao, against three-division, five-time titlist, Shane Mosley.
The 32-year-old Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts), Arum and Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, have taken some cricitism for chosing to face the 39-year-old Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) over options that also included a third bout with 37-year-old WBO and WBA lightweight (135 pounds) king Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), or, unbeaten, 27-year-old WBC welterweight king Andre Berto (26-0, 21 KOs).
Marquez has battled Pacquiao to a draw, and, lost to on a disputed, split-decision, respectively, in May of 2004, and, March of 2008.
On Wednesday, FanHouse spoke to legendary Filipino boxing sage, Ronnie Nathanielz, of Philboxing.com, who was at The Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas attending workouts for 34-year-old WBO and WBC bantamweight (118 pounds) champion Fernando Montiel (44-2-2, 34 KOs), of Mexico, and, 28-year-old WBA interim super flyweight (115 pounds) titlist Nonito Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), of San Leandro, Calif. by way of the Philippines.
Montiel and Donaire will meet on Saturday night in an HBO televised affair that is being promoted by Top Rank Promotions from the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao is coming off of a November, unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs), a victory that earned him the WBC's junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt, which he has since vacated.
"You know, when Manny Pacquiao decided to skip the super welterweight [154 pounds,] and to tell [WBC president] Jose Sulaiman that he's not going fight at that weight anymore, Manny spoke to me," said Nathanielsz. "Manny said, '147 is the maximum weight class that I can fight at, and I'll maybe even go down to 140 [junior welterweight.]'"
Until recently through Golden Boy Promotions, Marquez had been negotiating an all-Mexican clash opposite 34-year-old, three-division king Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs), who, in March of 2005, was the last man to defeat Pacquiao -- doing so by unanimous decision.
"When Marquez called off the Morales fight, I thought, 'Ah, something is brewing.' Arum indicated that if Marquez comes to us, then, maybe we can get that fight going. The thing is, there is no one else that Manny has left to fight if he beats Mosley," said Nathanielsz, who has been covering boxing for more than 50 years.
"I think that their fights were very close. Frankly, I think that Manny may have lost that second fight. Manny himself looked a little surprised when they announced that he had won that fight," said Nathanielsz. "I thought that that was a helluva close fight. I've dealt with Marquez a number of times, and he's a very nice guy. He said to me, 'Ronnie, please tell Manny to fight me.' He wants that third fight so badly."
Nathanielsz said that a third bout between Pacquiao and Marquez would be what Pacquiao's Filipino fans desire.
"Yes, a lot of people in the Philippines want to see that fight for two reasons. One, to settle the score, and two, to shut Marquez up, because he's been talking a lot. But that's the nature of the game," said Nathanielsz.
"The fans would support a third fight with Marquez, and they want to see that fight," said Nathanielz. "I believe that it is the next logical thing to do. And I get the impression that in the back of his mind, Manny Pacquiao really wants to settle this once and for all."
Arum told FanHouse that he would not be beyond making a third bout with between Pacquiao and Marquez, that is, if six-time titlist Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) is not available in the fall.
"I look at the fighter. And if Marquez's monetary demands are reasonable, and Manny Pacquiao gets by Mosley, and Mayweather is not available for November, then Marquez goes into the batter's box," said Arum.
"I have been told that his contract is over with Golden Boy Promotions on Feb. 20, and then that there is a 30 days period where they have exclusive negotiations with him," said Arum. "It's a big fight with Marquez, but not as big as the Mosley fight. But when you look at what's around, Marquez is bigger than any fight other than the Mayweather fight."