By Lem Satterfield
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, said on Tuesday that he will be meeting next week with WBO and WBA lightweight champion, Juan Manuel Marquez, in the fighter's native Mexico in an attempt to retain him as a client with
In November, the 37-year-old Marquez (52-5-1, 38 knockouts) rose from a third-round knockdown to score a ninth-round stoppage over 30-year-old, then-WBO interim king Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs).
Marquez's contract with Golden Boy Promotions has reportedly expired, but Schaefer has had a 30-day window to resign Marquez as well as the right, through Feb. 27, 2012, to match the best offer that Marquez receives from an opposing
A three-division champion, Marquez has made no secret of the fact that he would like a third bout with 32-year-old, eight-division king Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who has a May 7, defense of his WBO welterweight crown opposite
39-year-old Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs).
Marquez fought to a disputed draw, and, a split-decision loss, respectively, in May of 2004, and, March of 2008, against Pacquiao, who is being promoted by Top Rank Promotions.
In order to secure the trilogy, there are observers who believe that Marquez is trying to leave Golden Boy for heated rival Top Rank as did Mosley in December, this, in order to easier make the bout with Pacquiao.
"I'm going to be sitting down with Juan Manuel next week and you know we did have an exclusive, good faith negotiating period, which was not honored by Juan Manuel. And, so, I am going to sit down with him next week and see what can be worked out. I am actually scheduled to meet with him next week in Mexico and to see what he is planning on doing."
Schaefer made his assertions during Tuesday's national conference call touting an April 9 match up between Katsidis and southpaw Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs), a former two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF super featherweight titlist.
Guerrero-Katsidis is an undercard bout to the main event featuring 34-year-old, three-division king, Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) and 27-year-old former WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Rene Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs).
During the call, Schaefer said that he, in fact, that he had learned that both the WBA and the WBO are looking to sanction Guerrero-Katsidis as an interim championship whose winner would earn the right to face Marquez.
"The winner of this fight is not only in line for the world title fight, but also, if Marquez would decide to move up or to do something different, they would become the WBO lightweight world champion. Juan Manuel Marquez actually did his mandatory against Michael Katsidis not long ago, and, so he does have some time as it relates to his mandatory," said Schaefer.
"The WBO has contacted us a couple of days ago and has asked what Marquez's plans were, because, obviously, he has not fought for a while. So they actually are looking at potentially sanctioning this fight here between Robert Guerrero and Michael Katsidis as an interim championship fight, with the winner of that having to fight Marquez. We don't know what Marquez's plans are," said Schaefer.
"I just got word that the WBA as well has a tentative sanctioning for making this a WBA interim lightweight title, so, obviously, the WBA and the WBO would like to know what Marquez's plans are since nothing has been announced," said Schaefer. "So it seems like both the WBA and the WBO will be sanctioning this as an interim title fight with the winner becoming the mandatory to Marquez in case Marquez elects to stay at 135 pounds. Obviously, if he were to move up in weight, then the winner of that fight would become the full champion."
A winner of 12 straight bouts, including nine by knockout, Guerrero already had been a mandatory challenger to Marquez. Guerrero last suffered defeat by a December, 2005 split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz, whom Guerrero stopped in the sixth round of their June, 2006 rematch.
In February of 2010, Guerrero announced that he was pulling out of a March 27 bout with Katsidis, being replaced in the main event by Maidana, who came up with a sixth-round knockout of Victor Cayo (26-1, 18 KOs) in defense of his WBA belt. Guerrero had vacated his shot at Katsidis to care for his wife, Casey, who was battling leukemia but who has since been in remission.
"Robert had double-duty with training, and, most importantly, caring for his wife," said Schaefer. "Both of these fighters are in for a world title shot, most likely in the next fight. So this is an extremely important fight."