In what is perhaps an absurd last-ditch effort to block a third fight this fall between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is talking about a possible fight between Marquez and young Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno has this:
"[Alvarez-Marquez] would be a very colorful promotion," Schaefer laughed. "It sounds like, based on interviews that I've read - both from Juan Manuel and Nacho Beristain - that they are perfectly happy to fight at 147-pounds. Canelo said he would do 147. Canelo is actually going to start working out and training in Big Bear, and he'll have a full nutritional staff and so on. So for Canelo, if he needs to make 147 - it's no problem to make 147."
Marquez and Alvarez have some beef dating back to earlier this year when Marquez harshly criticized the insanely popular 20-year-old for failing to make a catchweight of 150 pounds against Matthew Hatton. Despite failing to make the weight, the WBC still allowed their vacant junior middleweight title to be put on the line for that fight. Marquez said that Alvarez "doesn't have what it takes to be a champion."
Recently, Top Rank sent over a contract to Golden Boy's lawyers which offered Marquez $5 million (reportedly, and nobody is denying it) and pay-per-view incentives for a long-awaited and some would say well overdue third fight with Manny Pacquiao this fall. Golden Boy does not have Marquez under contract, but has the right to match any offer. I thought they didn't have a fight they could possibly make that could match $5 million + PPV cuts, but lo and behold, they've come up with something ridiculous.
I find the idea of this fight repulsive. Marquez is a lightweight. He's the lightweight champion of the world. He has fought a grand total of one time over that weight and looked terrible against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2009. Fighting Manny Pacquiao in the 140s is one thing. Fighting a 5'9", 20-year-old junior middleweight is quite another.
Alvarez and his team say frequently that they can still make 147, and Schaefer says that they'll be employing a full-time nutritionalist soon, but the fact is that Alvarez has not made 147 pounds in his last five fights. His upcoming June 18 fight with Ryan Rhodes is for the WBC junior middleweight belt he was all but handed on a silver platter.
Maybe he could make 147 (he hasn't fought at a full 154 yet), but even if he does what are we talking about then? You're still doing Juan Manuel Marquez at welterweight based entirely on two things:
- A publicized grudge that started because of a very valid piece of criticism.
With Pacquiao-Marquez III you have:
- A legitimate grudge with real history.
- Fighters who have fought each other twice before in 24 of the closest rounds ever.
The only value -- outside of, you know, monetary value -- in Alvarez-Marquez is some overblown passing of the torch were Alvarez to win. Marquez is the current king of the Mexican fighters, while Alvarez is seen by many as the prince waiting his turn at the throne.
It just seems to me like there's no real basis for this fight other than Golden Boy pulling out the absolute last possible thing they could do to keep fight fans from seeing Pacquiao-Marquez III. Hopefully Marquez is smart enough to see this for the terrible idea that it is. This is a lousy piece of would-be matchmaking designed only to keep a desired fight from taking place yet again, instead offering a fight I've never seen anyone even suggest -- because it doesn't make any sense at all.