COMMENTARY | If Top Rank's Bob Arum wants Manny Pacquiao to get a shot at redemption against Juan Manuel Marquez, it's going to cost him dearly. Or, maybe, it won't happen at all, at any price.
Boxing talk, mostly generated by the Top Rank Promotions hype machine, has made it seem as though a fifth Marquez-Pacquiao bout is a done deal and already on the schedule of upcoming big ticket bouts.
However, after hearing Marquez speak for himself, it should be abundantly clear that nothing about Marquez-Pacquiao V is a "done deal." The fighter from Mexico City has yet to commit himself to the idea of ever meeting Pacquiao in the ring again after knocking the Filipino icon out in the sixth round of their Dec. 8 bout last year.
"I think for me there is no point [in a fifth fight]," Marquez told Boxingscene. "We already achieved the desired result. Then why do it? So I also asked several people, several friends that I have around me and they told me not to do it, that there is no point in a fifth fight. I said before the fourth fight that no matter how this fight ends, there can not be a fifth."
There is some "what comes around, goes around" karma to all of this. Marquez, following each and every controversial decision setback to Pacquiao in the past, has been forced to practically jump through hoops in order to get another crack at his arch-rival. And this most recent fourth bout would not have happened at all if not for the fact that Pacquiao had absolutely nobody left to fight under the Top Rank umbrella.
Now, the tables have turned and it's Marquez who can sit back and watch the other side squirm a little. He can take the time to consider other options before deciding on Pacquiao's fate. While it's true that a fifth Pacquiao bout offers him the biggest payday, it's also true that Pacquiao and Bob Arum need this bout.
Pacquiao needs to redeem himself after his crushing, face-first knockout loss before he can truly move on to other things. Career options are dwindling for the eight-division champ and have basically been whittled down to an unpopular rematch with Timothy Bradley and an interesting, but still mostly-fictitious showdown with Brandon Rios. But all roads need to go through Juan Manuel Marquez first. The faceplant KO is the elephant in the room and it's something that Pacquiao, the man, has to overcome and Pacquiao, the fighter, has to avenge. While nothing will eliminate or diminish what Pacquiao has accomplished in his Hall of Fame career, an ugly, decisive loss to his arch-rival that goes unanswered would certainly leave a mark on an otherwise stellar legacy.
For Marquez, the temptation will always be there to go out on top. He has a legitimate case to make in saying that he should've won at least two of their first three bouts. The devastating knockout win in their fourth bout, after three prior frustrations, would be a perfect way to end his professional relationship with Pacquiao. Redemption achieved. Case closed.
One gets the feeling that the only reason Marquez would even be considering a possible fifth bout is for the money. At 39 years of age, the end is near for Marquez and a likely eight-figure payday would be ideal for an obviously vulnerable fighter with, realistically, one foot out the proverbial door.
And this takes us to, perhaps, the real reason behind Marquez's public indecision regarding a fifth Pacquiao fight. He may be holding out for a bigger cut of the money. He knows how important this fight is to Team Pacquiao, he holds all the cards at the moment, and he's looking to make Arum & Co. pay dearly.
Whatever the case, Juan Manuel Marquez has earned the right to call the shots. Once the bell rings, though, it's back to 50-50 between two of the sport's most accomplished warriors.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Miguel Rivera, Marquez: I See No Point in Fighting Manny Pacquiao Again, BoxingsceneRelated boxing video on Yahoo! Sports
Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Ski star Lindsey Vonn airlifted from mountain after crash | Photos
• Ed Reed basks in Super Bowl glory, remembers late brother
• Happy one-year anniversary, 'Linsanity' (video)
• Lateral Hazard: Doubt Phil Mickelson at your peril
- Sports & Recreation
- Juan Manuel Marquez
- Manny Pacquiao