By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is confident that Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO's) will engage pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO's) in their scheduled WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 12 unlike Shane Mosley who kept backpedaling after he was dropped by Pacquiao in the third round and was booed by the fans..
Arum told BoxingScene.com/Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Marquez will come to fight, absolutely, and people should know that if they fight Manny Pacquiao its like winning a lottery. So thats good for everybody."
Arum said Marquez was excited over the chance to face Pacquiao in a third fight which he has long been angling for and added "he really thinks he can beat Manny and thats good so it will be a very interesting fight."
Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the opening round of their first encounter for the WBA / IBF super featherweight title on May 8, 2004. That fight ended in controversy after Marquez counter-punched his way to a draw and judge Burt Clements admitted he made a mistake in scoring the first round 10-7 for Pacquiao when he should have made it 10-6 like the two other judges did. Clements' mistake deprived Pacquiao of the win.
In another extremely close fight in the rematch on March 15, 2008 , Pacquiao won a split decision to grab the WBC super featherweight title from Marquez. It was another controversial decision with Pacquiao's third round knockdown of Marquez giving him the edge on the scorecards of two of the three judges.
Arum disclosed that Marquez will take on former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz (36-3-1, 17 KO's) on July 2 in Mexico City "because he has to get the rust off him. He will start training right now and he's gonna continue training right up to the Manny fight."
Asked about the possibility of Marquez losing to Diaz who was demolished by Pacquiao in a 9th round TKO on June 28, 2008, Arum replied , "if he loses the fight with Diaz we'll get another opponent" for Pacquiao. However, he said Marquez believes he can beat the southpaw Diaz.
Arum revealed that he had dinner with Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz and that Koncz would "bring our agreement to Manny and hopefully he will agree to everything and then the fights on." Koncz is scheduled to arrive in Manila on Sunday.
The astute Top Rank promoter defended his decision to pay Marquez his biggest purse to date of $5 million plus an upside of $5 for every pay-per-view buy above 850,000. He said "Marquez, in my opinion, is worth what Mosley got. Why should I deprive Marquez who is probably going to do better numbers than Mosley."
The last pay-per-view report said the Pacquiao-Mosley clash last May 7 did anywhere between 1.3 million to 1.4 million buys which would make it the biggest involving Pacquiao, beating the 1.25 million buys for his bout with Oscar De La Hoya on December 6, 2008.