Juan Manuel Marquez is planning a return at 140 pounds. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Current lightweight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez tells Salvador Rodriguez of Record that he will return to the ring at 140 pounds this summer, as he weighs offers from Top Rank, Golden Boy and Main Events to take on top names in the fall.
Marquez says he will fight in July, likely in Mexico, under his own promotional banner. He tells Record that he wants "a competitive fight" and one that is "attractive" to fans. There are a great number of options out there, but it would seem highly unlikely that Marquez would fight anyone particularly dangerous given that no matter what he chooses, he's looking at a strong payday before the end of the year.
Marquez also addressed his options. Top Rank has offered $5 million and PPV revenue to face Manny Pacquiao for a third time. Golden Boy Promotions is offering Saul Alvarez, which Marquez says is the only fight his old promoter has that can match Pacquiao for money. And Main Events, no doubt coming in a distant third in the money race, offered a fight with Zab Judah recently.
The Mexican star sounds intrigued by the fights, but calls Pacquiao his "priority," though he does say he would have to meet with Top Rank to talk about the "conditions" of the fight. Presumably Marquez will want a catchweight somewhere in the low 140s -- he might ask for 140 flat, but he's not going to get it -- and he might try to get a bigger piece of the PPV pie than Top Rank has offered.
Let's put it like this: Right now, I would say the Pacquiao fight is about 94%, Alvarez at 5% (this is me figuring that somehow, Marquez can negotiate himself out of a huge payday for a fight he wants with Manny), and Judah at 1%. As for July, expect a mid-tier opponent at best.