By Keith Idec
Juan Manuel Marquez has resisted the temptation for more than five years to fight Manny Pacquiao yet again.
Count Oscar De La Hoya among those that hopes Mexico’s Marquez changes his mind. De La Hoya “would love” to see a fifth fight between Marquez and Pacquiao, who’ll challenge Lucas Matthysse for the WBA world welterweight title Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) announced his retirement last August 4 and seems content to leave well enough alone in his riveting rivalry with Pacquiao. Marquez knocked Pacquiao unconscious with a perfect counter right hand in the sixth round of their fourth fight in December 2012 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao has long wanted another shot at Marquez, but Marquez has turned down numerous lucrative offers for their fifth fight.
Marquez will turn 45 on August 23. That’ll make him the same age as De La Hoya, who hasn’t fought in the nearly 10 years since Pacquiao surprisingly dominated him in their December 2008 bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“It would be great,” De La Hoya said Thursday, according to The Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Fight for the ages. If they fight again, we know it’s gonna be another war. People wanna see it. I would love to see it.”
De La Hoya’s company promotes Matthysse, who is a slight underdog against Pacquiao entering their 12-round, 147-pound title fight at Axiata Arena (ESPN+; Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
The 39-year-old Pacquiao is 6-1 since Marquez beat him 5½ years ago. His lone loss during that stretch was a unanimous-decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their heavily hyped welterweight title fight in May 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Philippines’ Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) beat Marquez in two of their first three fights. Marquez overcame three first-round knockdowns in their first fight to battle Pacquiao to a draw in May 2004.
Pacquiao then beat Marquez by split decision in March 2008 and majority decision in November 2011. Each of those close victories caused controversy.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.