By Lem Satterfield
LAS VEGAS - WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) has taken some cricitism for chosing to face the 39-year-old Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) over options that also included a third bout with 37-year-old WBO/WBA lightweight king Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), or, unbeaten, 27-year-old WBC welterweight champ Andre Berto (26-0, 21 KOs).
Marquez has battled Pacquiao to a draw, and, lost to on a disputed, split-decision, respectively, in May of 2004, and, March of 2008. The Mexican champion was slated to face Erik Morales on April 9 in Las Vegas, but he reportedly withdrew in order to become a free agent. Marquez's contract with Golden Boy Promotions expires in a few days.
Industry experts believe Marquez is attempting to replicate the recent move by Mosley, who left Golden Boy to secure a fight with Pacquiao. The Filipino champion is promoted by Golden Boy's promotional rival, Top Rank.
"I look at the fighter. And if Marquez's monetary demands are reasonable, and Manny Pacquiao gets by Mosley, and [Floyd] Mayweather is not available for November, then Marquez goes into the batter's box," said Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum.
"I have been told that his contract is over with Golden Boy Promotions on Feb. 20, and then that there is a 30 days period where they have exclusive negotiations with him. It's a big fight with Marquez, but not as big as the Mosley fight. But when you look at what's around, Marquez is bigger than any fight other than the Mayweather fight."
Lem Satterfield is the boxing editor at AOL FanHouse and the news editor at BoxingScene.com. To read more from Lem Satterfield, go to AOL FanHouse by Clicking Here.