As the debate rages on as to ‘we he or won’t he’ fight Manny Pacquiao for a fifth time, Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez has now stated that it is likely there won’t be the another installment.
The 39 year-old has repeatedly reiterated his stance of facing the Filipino again since his devastating knockout win in December, although promoter Bob Arum has continually made noises to suggest that the fight was possible for the fall.
It now seems that Marquez has had enough of the talking and wants to focus on his next goal of claiming a world title at fifth weight division, with a 147lb showdown against WBO champion Timothy Bradley in his sights.
Had Pacquiao been given ‘the decision that never was’ against Bradley in June of last year, ‘Dinamita’ would realistically already have achieved his goal, but now the former lightweight king wants to rubberstamp his status by taking Bradley’s title belt.
“My decision is firm. Most likely there will be no fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao and yes there will be a fifth championship,” Marquez confirmed to Mexico’s The Record.
“It motivates me more (than Pacquiao, to) find the fifth championship in the same number of divisions. I think any athlete or professional wants to overcome one’s goals and that’s why another belt inspires me.
“What better than facing an opponent which for me is a great fighter, tough and difficult, as Timothy Bradley.”
Whether Bob Arum would allow this fight to happen is another story, as there is too much money at stake if the two can be paired off one more time. There could be a compromise though if Marquez promises his boss at Top Rank a fifth meeting with the ‘Pacman’ next year, which may then sweeten the deal for a clash with Bradley to go ahead.
Bradley, 29, is currently in high demand as latest opponent Ruslan Provodnikov has begun moves with the WBO for an immediate rematch after their barnstorming first encounter – and Arum now has a lot to sort out before any announcements can be made.