Would Juan Manuel Marquez risk a potential fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao to face Brandon Rios in July? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios will be co-headlining a split-site Top Rank pay-per-view on April 14, and if both win their fights, Bob Arum says it's possible that the two will meet on July 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
"Marquez against Rios, yes, that's a possibility for July 14 at Cowboys Stadium if they both win their fights," said Arum. "Marquez is in a good fight against the Russian guy, and we'll bring that to Mexico, where it will be a sold out house I think. From Vegas, we'll have Rios in a fight that will be a helluva war."
"The Russian guy" is Serhiy Fedchenko, who has a pretty record without much on it, and frankly is at least two classes below Juan Manuel Marquez, while Rios will be facing Richard Abril, which really could be a helluva war since Rios' fights usually are.
Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KO) will be
winning fighting for the interim WBO junior welterweight title, the full title currently held by Timothy Bradley, who faces Manny Pacquiao at welterweight on June 9. If Bradley vacates that belt, or they just decide to strip him, or whatever, then Marquez could be full "champion" by July 14, when he would in theory face Rios.
One thing that is in the way here, though: Juan Manuel Marquez desperately wants a fourth fight with Pacquiao this fall. I don't know that he's going to be willing to sign a deal to fight Brandon Rios, a very dangerous opponent for anyone, and possibly sacrifice a much bigger payday against Pacquiao in November. This just seems really unlikely to me, as much as we might all want to see it. Marquez vs Rios just isn't worth as much money as Pacquiao vs Marquez IV would be. If he had time to see what goes down with Manny on June 9 -- Manny could lose, Manny could break an ankle, anything, really -- then sure. But if they're going to promote July 14 fight with Marquez and Rios, it would have to be a done deal before June 9, fully guaranteed by everyone, and not something Marquez could just skip out of if Pacquiao beats Bradley and then wants the Marquez fight later in the year, provided Marquez doesn't lose to Rios, which is a real risk.
Arum also confirms that Mike Alvarado vs Mauricio Herrera will be on the April 14 pay-per-view, and Mercito Gesta will open the show against an opponent to be determined.
For the July 14 show, Nonito Donaire is already tentatively slated to face Cristian Mijares.