Finally, Manny Pacquiao has chosen his next opponent. He decided to go for money instead of belts, choosing to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time in 8 years, setting December 12, 2012, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the date for the fight.
It’ll be just over a year when the two step into the ring one more time. Last time, it was as controversial and as close as ever. No knockdowns, but it was about Marquez leading for about 8 rounds before Pacquiao woke up and started firing away, enough to get him a close call decision. The punch stats showed that despite the arguments about the outcome of the fight, Pacquiao was by far the busier and more accurate fighter.
And now, Pacquiao chose money over belts. Who can blame him? When the last fight with Marquez got a 1.4 million PPV share, while the Bradley fight, which he lost on a ridiculous decision by nearly blind ringside judges, didn’t break the one million barrier. That’s a lot to make up for, and eventually, the way boxing is built, the belts don’t have much to offer, especially for a veteran fighter without that much left to prove except for that Mayweather fight still eluding him.
That may also be taken care of, as 50 Cent is going into the boxing promotion business, and according to Freddie Roach, there are already talks regarding the matter between 50 Cent, Bob Arum, Michael Koncz and Todd duBoef. When? Where? How much? Still too soon to tell, but maybe the involvement of something not related to Golden Boy promotions is providing the breakthrough.
But first, Pacquiao needs to get passed Marquez, who might be holding on to his career just so he can finally he say he beat him after three unsuccessful attempts. Manny Pacquiao himself feels that by not knocking out Marquez in any of the fights (two wins, one draw), he’s left room for interpretation. Speaking about the fight, Pacquiao sounds much more resolved and focused than before.
For once, as Roach mentioned in the linked interview, he didn’t talk about god. He predicted the outcome of a fight for the first time according to his trainer, predicting he’ll knock Marquez out this time, coming out firing and blazing like he did during his 20’s. Again, it might be about professionalism pride, but it might be about money. Another bad win or even a loss, and any kind of leverage he has for a 50-50 split with Floyd Mayweather is gone out the door.