Manny Pacquiao will be back in action this November, and it appears as though the fight with Juan Manuel Marquez is set. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
BoxingScene.com reports that Juan Manuel Marquez has accepted a revised offer from Top Rank to fight Manny Pacquiao in November, and that the Mexican fighter doesn't expect Golden Boy Promotions to be able to match the offer because of an agreed-upon 144-pound catchweight.
Golden Boy had reportedly offered the same money ($5 million) for Marquez to fight junior middleweight/welterweight star prospect Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, which make no mistake would have been a huge fight with the Mexican boxing audience. But Alvarez hasn't made 147 in a while, and cannot realistically be expected to make 144 pounds. Pacquiao usually weighs around 144 on the scales anyway, so it should be no problem for the Filipino. And make no mistake here, either: This catchweight is not about being any more "fair" than 147 would be, it's about the fact that there's no way Golden Boy and Alvarez can really say that yes, Alvarez can make 144 pounds.
Pacquiao vs Marquez III has been met with a mixed reaction. I think, and this is just my guess, that Mexican fight fans and Pacquiao's loyal army of supporters do want to see this fight, and badly at that. I believe it will sell very, very well at the gate and on pay-per-view. Marquez is still the reigning king of the active Mexican fighters, and the history between Pacquiao and Marquez is very real, very heated, and very significant.
Then there's the rest of us who see this as a mismatch, physically, in 2011, whereas it was not so much in 2004 or 2008. That camp is also split a bit -- those who are still OK with the fight given the other available options and because both fights are so highly respected, and those who just plain think the fight sucks. I'm not sure which side has more soldiers in that war.
While there has been no official announcement made just yet, this is the fight that everyone expects, and now Marquez has said that he's accepted the offer. We're literally only an official announcement or perhaps a concession speech from GBP away from this fight being signed, sealed, and in November, delivered.
Marquez will have a tune-up fight against David Diaz (a Top Rank fighter) in Mexico on July 2. No TV has been announced for that, but it would seem likely that Showtime will pick up the fight if they're going to remain in the Manny Pacquiao business.