Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson appear to be out of the running to face Manny Pacquiao in June, so the two fighters are targeting one another with the idea that the fight would lead to the winner facing Manny later in 2012. Sal Rodriguez says that negotiations will begin soon, and that Marquez wants the fight at Cowboys Stadium.
I do think the fight has a strong chance of happening, but there are a couple of things I think Marquez is shooting high on at the moment.
- Top Rank really can't guarantee that the Marquez vs Peterson winner face Pacquiao later this year, or at least if they did they'd have to keep it 100% quiet, or put in a contractual condition that they're still behind Floyd Mayweather on the Pacquiao pecking order. In other words, the winner would only face Pacquiao if Pacquiao does not face Mayweather. As unlikely as Pacquiao vs Mayweather may or may not be, you can't at this point in the year throw in the towel on the fight possibly happening in November if you're Top Rank. It just looks bad and means a bunch of people won't yammer about it next time and bring attention to both sides.
- Cowboys Stadium? For this? Really? Are you sure you don't want to put 12,000 people in the Grand Canyon instead?
That said, Marquez vs Peterson is a really good fight. Peterson said in December that Marquez is one of his favorite fighters:
"(Marquez) reminds me of me a lot. He's a technical fighter, but he doesn't mind mixing it up when he needs to. Warrior, all the way through. He's intelligent. There's a lot of things about him that -- there's a lot of things I try to take from him, and learn from him. Overall, I love his fight style. Exciting fighter, throws a lot of combinations. He's willing to mix it up with anyone."
Peterson holds the WBA and IBF title belts at 140 pounds, and while the WBA has ordered a rematch with Amir Khan, Peterson is appealing that decision. Khan's team dropped their appeal with the IBF, and even if the WBA did not back down, Peterson could simply give up the WBA belt. It's not like those have any meaning anyway, since they have about five "champions" per division.
Who would you favor in this one, should it happen?