Whether the fifth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will push through or not will be known when Marquez meets with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum Wednesday night (Thursday in Manila).
According to BoxingScene.com, Marquez will be accompanied by his longtime trainer, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, to the meeting where Arum will try to convince the Mexican four-division world champion to agree to a grudge rematch with Pacquiao.
In their fourth fight last Dec. 8, Marquez finally got the Filipino’s number with a one-punch knockout in the final second of the sixth round.
Their first bout in 2004 ended in a draw, while Pacquiao won the second (2008) and third editions (2011) by split and majority decision, respectively.
Marquez has indicated that he isn’t too keen on fighting Pacquiao again, a view shared by Beristain, who told BoxingScene.com that he doesn’t want Marquez to tangle with the Filipino eight-division world champion again because “it would be a dangerous fight (for his ward).”
Despite his apprehensions, however, Beristain said he would abide by whatever Marquez will decide.
If ever the fifth fight pushes through in September, Marquez stands to become the highest paid Mexican athlete ever with projected earnings of $15 million upwards, a big jump from the $6 million guaranteed purse he got in Pacquiao-Marquez 4.
While Macau, Abu Dhabi and Mexico have been prominently mentioned as likely sites for the fifth bout, a return to Las Vegas, despite the stiff US taxes, can’t be brushed aside owing to its prime marketability.
With Pacquiao out of his radar for now, Marquez is looking at brawler Brandon Rios as a possible opponent for his return to the ring in September.
If Marquez plays hard to get or demands a stiff purse, the Pacquiao camp won’t beg him for a fifth fight, lawyer Jeng Gacal, Pacquiao’s legal adviser, told the Inquirer in an earlier interview. Gacal insists only a Pacquiao fight can give the 39-year-old Marquez financial security once he hangs up his gloves.