Juan Manuel Marquez may take a tune-up fight in March if he doesn't land a June date with Manny Pacquiao. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
If Juan Manuel Marquez does not land a fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao in June, he will still return to the ring (as he's decided retirement is not an option right now) this spring, and Sal Rodriguez reports that a March 17 date against David Diaz is possible.
You might recall that last summer, when Marquez was looking for a tune-up fight before facing Pacquiao in November, Diaz was the first choice for an opponent, but they had money disagreements. Marquez offered $100K, and then $150K, but Diaz demanded $300K and then $250K. They never went, "$200K should do it then, right?" and instead Marquez fought Likar Ramos, which wound up a complete waste of time other than JMM getting in a training camp, as Ramos decided to lay down gently in the first round, so completely "knocked out."
Then, to make it all even worse, David Diaz took very small money to face Hank Lundy in August, and was knocked out in six. It was a really good fight, very exciting, but Diaz wound up losing a fight for a lot less money than even the $100,000 that Marquez offered at first, so all in all, you can't call it a good move, really.
Diaz (36-4-1, 17 KO) is really, truly one of the nicest guys in boxing. He's an honest, hard-working sort who has an incredibly positive attitude and never makes excuses. He's also 35 years old and not a contender anymore.
He'd be a good between-fights opponent for Marquez; a bit more than a stay-busy fight, but not a legitimate risk for the star fighter, and Marquez could use the fight to get sharp and tune up for something with Timothy Bradley this summer, perhaps, if neither of them wind up fighting Manny.