By Jake Donovan
Even if they never face each other again, the names Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will always intertwine. Their three fight series still has the voters split down the middle on who is the better of the two, particularly after Marquez’ better than expected showing in their catchweight bout last November.
Pacquiao leads the series 2-0-1, but it can be argued that Marquez deserves to be 3-0 just as easily as the case is to be made that he should be 0-3.
Marquez moved up well beyond his comfort zone yet stayed with Pacquiao every step of the way in last year’s fight, in which Pacquiao won by majority decision. The crowd loudly booed the decision and Pacquiao well after the scores were announced and all through the post-fight interview.
At the time, Marquez insisted that his only two options were a fourth fight with Pacquiao or retirement. Those plans have obviously changed, with the Mexican superstar having emerged victorious in a tune up fight this past April.
As the date gets closer for Pacquiao’s showdown with Tim Bradley on June 9, many have begun to speculate what awaits the Filipino icon in the aftermath. Marquez was initially rumored to face Brandon Rios in the summer, but has since declared that he’s not fighting until November.
Given that Pacquiao regularly fights his second fight of the year around that time, speculation has run rampant over the possibility of a fourth fight.
For the moment, his team isn’t confirming or denying whether or not such a fight will take place.
“Everything is on the table,” admits Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Manny has this fight with Bradley. It’s a tough fight. After the fight, as we always do we’ll confer who and when – who the opponent will be and when the next fight will be.”
His response is as close as anyone can expect to a direct answer on the subject. Pacquiao considers it taboo to plan more than one fight at a time and would be foolish to look past Bradley, the unbeaten 140 lb. king who is moving up in weight for next month’s showdown.
“I haven’t discussed this with Manny because I never discuss future opponents when he has a fight coming up,” Arum points out. “We’ll have plenty of time after this fight, to discuss it. We’re planning a trip after the fight with his family to the state of Israel. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss it then.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com