Pacman-Marquez IV is it
A done deal, says top aide as Pacquiao leaves tonightBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight saga continues.
Pacquiao will leave for Los Angeles tonight to sign the deal that would pave the way for Pacquiao-Marquez IV on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas.
“Manny has chosen Marquez (to be his next foe),” lawyer Jeng Gacal, Pacquiao’s chief of staff, confirmed yesterday in the wake of reports emanating from the United States that the Mexican legend has already signed for the megabuck bout.
Promoter Bob Arum told the AP Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that final negotiations with Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz were scheduled on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
The same report stated that a press conference is scheduled in Los Angeles on Tuesday to formally announce the fight that will reward Pacquiao with over $25 million, including pay-per-view share.
According to Gacal, Pacquiao will be leaving with the cast of his “Manny Many Prizes” show on GMA 7 which will stage an episode in Los Angeles.
The only seven-division world champion will then head to Las Vegas to sign the fight contract and attend the press conference formally announcing Pacquiao-Marquez IV on Tuesday.
This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since absorbing a shocking, highly unpopular split decision loss in his defense of the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown to Timothy Bradley on June 9, also at the MGM Grand.
Though Arum balked at announcing that it’s a done deal for Pacquiao-Marquez IV, he admitted that “it’s certainly going in that direction.”
The 39-year-old Marquez, a four-division world champion noted for his counterpunching skills, held his own against Pacquiao in their previous encounters.
In 2004, Marquez recovered from three first-round knockdowns to forge a controversial draw with Pacquiao.
Four years later, they fought again with Pacquiao eking out a disputed split decision, anchored mainly on a third-round knockdown of Marquez.
They waged another close battle in 2011 with the more aggressive Pacquiao gaining a majority decision.
Marquez has claimed that he won all three fights.
Though he has a rematch option with Bradley, Pacquiao decided to strike off the flamboyant American because of the weak PPV sales of their bout.
Team Pacquiao also felt that there’s nothing more to prove as the worldwide perception—including the scoring by a five-judge panel created by the WBO to review the tape of the bout—clearly gave the fight to the fighting congressman.
Another prime candidate, Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto opted to take on World Boxing Association light middleweight champion Austin Trout, instead on Dec. 1.
While chief rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains an option for Pacquiao, that fight, if it pushes through, will have to wait until next year.