Salvador Rodriguez of Record reports that the November trilogy showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez might not be at one of the casino arenas in Las Vegas, but instead at the Thomas & Mack Center, the basketball home of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels.
The Thomas & Mack Center has hosted a lot of boxing over the years, but is generally regarded as an outdated and dank arena in comparison to the more modern facilities at the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, the city's two most well-regarded and high-profile boxing venues. To me, it seems very unlikely that a fight like Pacquiao vs Marquez III would go to the Thomas & Mack. It just doesn't make sense. The arena is a bit out of the way and lacks the glitz and glamor of the casinos, plus the casinos can afford to pay more.
But if, for whatever reason, the fight does wind up there, this is kind of cosmic: The last time Manny Pacquiao fought in that building was his third fight with Erik Morales in 2006. They were on different career paths at the time, but the third fight was signed anyway. Morales was very game, and traded with Manny, but simply couldn't take the power, and quit in the third round. The fight I see the closest comparison to, on paper, for Pacquiao-Marquez III is indeed Pacquiao-Morales III. So I guess that would be, I don't know, fitting.
Marquez also promises in the article to provide "a real fight," as opposed to what fans saw with Shane Mosley on Saturday. I can't say as though I think Marquez stands any better shot at winning, but I can say I can't envision Marquez running around the ring like Mosley did. But then I never thought I'd see Shane Mosley do that either.
This fight is of course not yet official, as Marquez has to face David Diaz in July in Mexico, and Golden Boy can still match any offer from Top Rank until February 2012.