Top Rank promoter Bob Arum isn't really talking "if" when it comes to a fifth fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao -- it's sound like he's focused entirely on "when."
Arum says that "when" won't be on April 20, which was Pacquiao's tentatively reserved next fight date. He was being lined up to face Brandon Rios on that date, but following Manny's KO-6 loss to Marquez on Saturday, it looks like Rios will fight in March, probably against Mike Alvarado in a rematch of their bloody thriller,
From the LA Times:
"No. 5 is now the biggest fight in boxing, bigger than Pacquiao-Mayweather. The idea we’d be ready to fight April 20 is ludicrous." ... Arum assured Marquez will earn a greater percentage of the guaranteed purse than Saturday’s fight –- when he collected $6 million to Pacquiao’s $23 million -- "and the pie will be bigger too," Arum said.
Marquez would probably be coming in at $10 million or more for his purse in a fifth fight, particularly if the pay-per-view numbers for this bout are comparable to last year's 1.25 million buys for their third fight. But either way, Arum is right, and no one can deny this: There will be even more interest in a fifth fight than there was this time out. I can't imagine the same skeptics wondering why they have to see these two again.
(Actually, I can imagine them, and I expect them to pop up whenever this fight does get made official. They'll be great fun.)
Marquez's promoter Fernando Beltran of Zanfer also is talking as if the fight is no doubt going to happen, but he seems a bit more laid back about it:
"In the fifth fight, Marquez will try to win for sure, but whatever happens, happens. He has nothing to prove about being considered one of the greatest Mexican fighters ever."
I doubt that's how Marquez would go into that fight, though. "Whatever happens, happens" -- doesn't sound like it could come out of Marquez's mouth. He will come to once again knock out his rival, if the fight happens.
And it's sounding, indeed, it's more a case of when the fight happens.