It’s almost certain now that Juan Manuel Marquez will eventually agree to fight Manny Pacquiao again. But as to how much it will take for the Mexican icon to sign a contract for their fifth showdown remains a guessing game.
Ring pundits, however, have put the ballpark figure at a minimum of $10 million and a maximum of $20 million.
And Marquez is likely to get what he wants.
Marquez scored a shocking sixth-round knockout of the Filipino eight-division world champion last Dec. 8 in Las Vegas, significantly increasing his bargaining power at the negotiating table.
In an earlier report in Esto, a Mexican sports daily, Marquez purportedly mentioned $20 million as his asking prize for a fifth fight with Pacquiao.
The amount is a quantum leap from the guaranteed $6 million Marquez got for his fourth bout with Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
The fighter known as “El Dinamita” is expected to give his go-signal for talks to proceed when he and wife Erika, on the invitation of Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, visit Macau on April 6 to watch a fight card featuring WBA-WBO bantamweight champ Brian Viloria and two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming of China.
Viloria will be dangling his titles against Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada while Zou, also a three-time world amateur gold medalist, will be making his pro debut.
Arum told Ring TV recently that he had also invited Pacquiao and wife Jinkee to attend the Fists of Gold card, which will be aired by HBO2.
Arum said he will try to arrange a meeting between the bitter rivals, and if Marquez picks Pacquiao to be his opponent on his return bout in September, negotiations could be held right away.
Marquez’s promoter, Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, also dropped hints that Pacquiao-Marquez V is in the offing.
In an interview with Boxing Scene.com, Beltran said that “pitting Marquez and Pacquiao together is the only combination that produces an attractive financial figure for Juan Manuel.”
Beltran, who said Marquez should get at least $10 million, said he and the 39-year-old five-division world champion will have to decide on his next opponent by April.