By Rene Umanzor
According to trainer/manager Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain, a rich prince in Dubai has put together a written offer of $15 million dollars to see Juan Manuel Marquez face the junior welterweight champion of the World Boxing Federation (WBF), Zolani Marali (22-5, 13 KO's) of South Africa. Marquez is being lined up to return in the month on April, in a tuneup for a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao in September.
Nacho says despite the big offer for a fight in Dubai, promoters Bob Arum of Top Rank and Fernando Beltran of Zanfer are at the head of the line to stage Marquez's next fight.
"At a function in Morelia, the president of the WBF (Howard Goldberg), an association that works more in Europe and Africa, was told me to tell me that a prince was interested in Juan and sent a written proposal to face Zolani Marali," Nacho said. "It has a formal offer of $15 million to fight in Dubai, but Bob Arum and Fernando Beltran have priority."
The proposal has a date in March, which Nacho says is not possible because Marquez has not been training. Even a date in April would be tough, says Nacho, but at least that is possible given the circumstances.
"I think that is not enough time for Juan to fight, because he is usually prepared very well and he knows he can not go into a fight with little preparation, so I do not think that anything will happen on that date," he said.
Rene Umanzor covers boxing in Mexico for The Record.