By Ernesto Castellanos, notifight.com
WBO junior welterweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez believes Manny Pacquiao is getting cold feet. Marquez claims Pacquiao is stalling to make a final decision on fighting him for a fourth time - because the Filipino superstar realizes that a fourth meeting would possibly derail a mega-money fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in early 2013.
Marquez, along with Timothy Bradley and Miguel Cotto, is being considered as the HBO pay-per-view opponent for Pacquiao's return on December 1 or December 8. Marquez, and his promoter Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, believe they are sitting in the frontrunner position to fight Pacquiao.
If Pacquiao decides to fight someone else, like Cotto, then Marquez will defend his title against Bradley on November 10 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But, if Pacquiao decides to fight Bradley - then Marquez will return in early December in Mexico.
"I finished a meeting in Tijuana with my promoter Fernando Beltrán and he informed me that Pacquiao is still undecided. What's happening right now is they want Pacquiao to face Floyd Mayweather in April of the next year.....[in a fight] where each of them could earn a guaranteed purse of $40 million dollars. That's why he is hesitated to make a fight with me, because he knows that if I fight him again - the big money fight can crumble. I can support that as a businessman, because it's not always possible to get a big purse like that. But I can't endorse that as an athlete because he's avoiding another fight with me. He knows that I already beat him three times, and that I will beat it again," Marquez said.
"As I've said, everything depends on Pacquiao. Moreover, he must make a decision in a maximum of ten or fifteen days, no more. If he decides against another fight with me, there is no problem. Then I will make a defense of my WBO world title on November 10 or in early December."