‘Pacquiao, Marquez may fight separate foes first’


Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran sees the fifth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez happening late in the year, not in September as originally envisioned.

Beltran, who co-promotes Marquez, told that he believes both fighters are likely to take interim bouts before plunging into another war for the ages.

And their likely opponents, according to Beltran, will be the winners of the showdown between Timothy Bradley and Russian Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16 and the rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado on March 30.

Bradley handed Pacquiao a dubious split-decision defeat in June last year, while the versatile Rios stopped the erstwhile unbeaten Alvarado in the seventh round in October.

Provodnikov was Pacquiao’s former sparring partner.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, following a dinner with Marquez and Beltran in Mexico City last week, reportedly gave the four-division champion and Pacquiao tormentor three options, according to The Ring’s Lem Satterfield.

Marquez could face either Bradley or Rios, granting that they emerge winners this month. The third option is to fight Pacquiao, which is guaranteed to bring in the most money, again.

If Marquez chooses Bradley or Rios, then Pacquiao could take on the one not picked to fight Marquez.

Arum said there is also a possibility that Pacquiao-Marquez V could be held further back in 2014.

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