Juan Manuel Marquez has become something like Paulie from Goodfellas: He may move slow, but it's because Marquez doesn't have to move for anybody.
The 39-year-old Mexican superstar is considering many options for his next fight, and Manny Pacquiao remains in the discussion, at least as far as Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is concerned. Upcoming Top Rank HBO fights (Bradley-Provodnikov and Rios-Alvarado II) could also figure into the equation for JMM's next fight.
"He wants to see Bradley with Provodnikov and he wants to see Rios and Alvarado. And then we'll have a discussion on what his options are. ... Marquez said he's interested in fighting all of them, but he'll know who he is interested in more after watching them fight. We never discussed money. All he said was, 'I know I can make more money fighting Pacquiao than against the other guys,' and that was the extent of the monetary discussions."
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO) is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a sixth round stone cold knockout of Pacquiao on December 8. He's at a career peak in terms of stardom and monetary value, having hammered home his greatness to any remaining doubters with a single thunderous right hand.
But while many believe that the money for a fifth bout with Pacquiao will prove too much to pass up, there is the possibility that Marquez would be content to make less money -- much less -- to fight Tim Bradley or Brandon Rios, assuming they win their upcoming fights. Both of those guys would likely leap at the opportunity, as Marquez could be to them what Pacquiao is to Marquez: A chance to make their biggest possible payday.
If Marquez isn't fighting just for money, and if he sees his story with Manny as truly over, Bradley or Rios could be more viable choices than we might think right now.