Juan Manuel Marquez is headed to Las Vegas to see Pacquiao vs Bradley up close. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Marquez wants a fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao, and he might not waste much time calling out his rival should Pacquiao be victorious this Saturday night when he faces Timothy Bradley on HBO PPV in Las Vegas. Marquez reportedly will have a ringside seat for the action.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO) is 0-2-1 officially against Pacquiao, with a draw in 2004, and razor-thin losses in 2008 and 2011. Their fight last November may have been the most controversial of all their meetings, when Marquez shocked many by once again being Pacquiao's equal in the ring, despite his advancing age and the fact that the fight took place with a 144-pound catchweight, which was supposed to significantly favor Pacquiao and then just didn't.
Manny has said in recent interviews that he underestimated Marquez and didn't train properly for the fight, distracted by personal issues. Pacquiao won a majority decision, with most, it seemed, feeling that Marquez had done enough to win the fight, and many calling it a robbery, reeking of boxing politics.
Marquez, who turns 39 in August, last fought on April 14, easily routing Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico City. He tried to make a July 14 fight, but originally the opponent was supposed to be Brandon Rios, whose own April 14 performance (a robbery win over Richard Abril) saw his stock plummet.
Marquez wanted a southpaw opponent anyway, to prepare for Manny. He had negotiations with Zab Judah, but Judah balked at the money offer. Mercito Gesta was on his mind, but Bob Arum wondered how on earth they'd sell that at Cowboys Stadium, or on pay-per-view. It was a fair and legitimate question.
Eventually, that 7/14 date just fell through, as HBO chose to pick up the Amir Khan vs Danny Garcia fight that night anyway. Marquez is reportedly going to fight again in Mexico this summer, but nothing firm has been set up for that.
If Pacquiao does beat Bradley, Marquez would seem the most logical next opponent. There just aren't that many guys out there to fight at the weight Pacquiao wants, who aren't affiliated with Golden Boy. (GBP and Top Rank might work together for some lesser fights, but I don't think Manny's close to fighting Victor Ortiz or anything like that.)
Plus, Pacquiao-Marquez IV does still have a lot of intrigue. You have to remember, I think, that a lot of Manny's current fans have been picked up in the last three years -- they didn't go through the first two Marquez fights as they happened. It's fresher to some than it is to others.