By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – If Juan Manuel Marquez truly isn’t interested in a fifth fight against Manny Pacquiao, promoter Bob Arum wants to hear it from Marquez himself.
The Mexican legend is scheduled to arrive in Manhattan on Thursday to discuss the possibility of Pacquiao-Marquez V with Arum and his braintrust at Top Rank Inc. Pacquiao plans to fight again in November in Macau, China, and the 40-year-old Marquez is the Filipino superstar’s primary target. Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) wants nothing more than to avenge his devastating one-punch, sixth-round knockout loss to Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) in December 2012.
Marquez, however, has been reluctant to face Pacquiao again because, despite the obvious financial benefits, he knows he cannot place a more pulverizing punctuation mark on their rivarly than he did nearly 18 months ago. It’s up to Arum to convince Marquez otherwise, though Marquez might price himself out of a fifth fight even if Marquez ultimately decides he wants to do it.
“Marquez will be here tomorrow,” Arum said Wednesday before a news conference at Madison Square Garden for the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto middleweight title fight Saturday night (HBO Pay-Per-View; $64.95 in HD; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). “We brought him here. I don’t want to be racist or anything, because it’s not racist. But you can’t really talk to a Mexican on a phone about a deal. You’ve got to sit him in front of you; you’ve got to look at his face. That’s pretty much with all people, but particularly with Mexicans, particularly if there’s a language barrier – even though he can speak English. So until I can see really where he is going or thinking, I’m as lost as anybody.”
If Marquez won’t fight Pacquiao again, Arum mentioned Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs), the winner of the June 14 WBO junior welterweight title bout at Barclays Center between Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) and Huntington, N.Y.’s Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs), Argentina’s Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29 KOs) and “some of Oscar’s guys, who he may or may not have, who might be available” as possible alternatives. Garcia also falls into the category of the Al Haymon-managed fighters Oscar [De La Hoya] may or may not have under contract now that Golden Boy Promotions chief executive officer Richard Schaefer has left the company.
Arum and De La Hoya put their differences aside recently and agreed to start co-promoting bouts that make sense for boxing’s two most prominent promotional companies. Provodnikov is represented by Philadelphia-based Banner Promotions. Algieri is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing. Abregu is promoted by Top Rank.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.