Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez got into the fight hyping game today for their December 8 clash, the fourth meeting between the two surefire Hall of Fame fighters, and explained a couple of things that some are wondering about:
- Why did Marquez back down from his earlier stance of never again fighting Pacquiao in Las Vegas?
- Why did Pacquiao choose Marquez and not a rematch with Timothy Bradley?
"It's no secret I don't want to fight in Vegas again," Marquez said in near-flawless English. "You see my fight, you see the [Pacquiao]-Bradley fight, you wonder. I don't know what is happening there, but I would rather fight in Mexico.
"It didn't work the way I wanted. If I wanted to fight Pacquiao, it had to be in Las Vegas. So, I decided to fight in Las Vegas."
This is no surprise or anything. A few tried to talk up the idea of doing the fight in Mexico, or Texas (not sure why anyone thinks Texas is the place to go when you're worried about controversy in fight officiating), but it was never a reality. Nowhere but Vegas was ever more than a pipe dream, because in Vegas, the money pours like wine over fights like this. You could sell 100,000 tickets in Mexico and not come away with the money you'll get in Las Vegas for this fight.
But I am glad that Marquez talked about it, at least, and I'm sure he really isn't happy that it's in Vegas. But this is how badly he wants this fight -- he's going where he doesn't want to go to make it happen.
Pacquiao had a quick thought on Timothy Bradley:
"I already beat Bradley," Pacquiao said. "Everyone knows it. I just didn't get my hand raised."
The general feeling I've gotten from boxing fans here, on Twitter, and on Facebook isn't one of great elation over Pacquiao-Marquez IV. For the most part, it's a sort of indifference. They'll watch, most likely, but it's not something many seem really excited about. However, I also can say that even those indifferent viewers seem to largely lean toward this being better than Pacquiao-Bradley II, for the reason Manny stated above. Very few people feel like they didn't get a conclusive ending to that idea in June, when Bradley controversially got a split decision over Pacquiao.
Bradley, who returns to the ring on December 15, it has been reported, recently said that Manny is afraid of the rematch. But that fight will be there in 2013, too. Pacquiao-Marquez IV was now or never, and they chose to make it now.