Manny Pacquiao’s struggle to a controversial victory over Juan Manuel Marquez could nudge the Filipino boxing icon closer to a megafight showdown against unbeaten US star Floyd Mayweather.
Pacquiao stretched his win streak to 15 fights with a majority decision over Marquez on Saturday at Las Vegas, but lacked the overpowering form he had shown in seven fights since a previous controversial triumph over Marquez in 2008.
“PacMan” needed 28 stitches to close a cut over his right eye suffered in a 10th-round head-butt and had two judges who gave him the final round scored it the other way, the fight would have been scored a draw.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum dismissed Marquez’s talk that he might retire, saying the likely $10 million payday for a fourth fight could change his mind and that he would try to stage a fourth Marquez-Pacquiao fight next May.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, said he felt Marquez deserved a rematch before the Asian southpaw faced Mayweather.
And while Pacquiao was open to a Marquez rematch, he made it clear he was also ready to face Mayweather, saying when asked about the prospect, “Let’s get it on. Let’s make the fight happen.”
Mayweather, through advisor Leonard Ellerbe, has said he wants to fight Pacquiao next May. Arum dismissed Mayweather having already set a date and site for the fight and Roach said Mayweather has no business trying to set terms.
“I’m kind of tired of Floyd. Shut up and fight or don’t,” Roach said.
“He wants to dictate everything. Who is he to make the rules?
“Then he sends his gopher out to make a speech. Leonard Ellerbe, he’s a gopher. Floyd, speak up. Coming from Ellerbe, who gives a damn?”
If nothing else, the possibility of turning back to Marquez would give Arum some leverage in talks with Mayweather’s camp about terms for a long-sought fight that figures to bring each fighter about $50 million — if it happens.
Mayweather also faces an evidence hearing next month on felony charges of grand larceny, coercion and robbery from a 2010 incident with former girlfriend Josie Harris and two children. Mayweather faces up to 34 years in prison.
Just as Pacquiao’s side wants Mayweather to call out the Filipino star, Mayweather’s co-promoter, Oscar de la Hoya, told the Los Angeles Times that he basically wants to see Pacquiao call out Mayweather.
“Mayweather wants the fight. If Manny wants Floyd, there’s nothing stopping that fight from happening,” de la Hoya told the newspaper.
“Pacquiao fights for the people and the people want him to step up and fight Mayweather.”
by Buford Balony