Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has reiterated that he will offer the winner of Saturday night’s welterweight clash between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado the chance to challenge star fighter Manny Pacquiao later in the year.
Arum was speaking during fight week for the return of veteran Marquez, who is hoping to get back to winning ways and set up a world title chance to earn a four weight world championship following his loss to Timothy Bradley.
“Well, I am not the one fighting, but the first thing I did was talk to Manny and he is up to fight the winner,” said Arum.
“I haven’t, and there is nothing contractual with the two fighters that are fighting Saturday, but they know I will offer the winner a fight with Manny and it’s up to the winner to accept or reject it. So that’s where we stand and if I hear that the winner will be interested in fighting Manny in the fall, and Manny has agreed to fight the winner, so I would say that once we got the terms straightened out it would be a done deal.”
Pacquiao himself made a successful return to form following his devastating knockout loss to Marquez, by firstly beating Brandon Rios with ease before putting in a dazzling display in out-pointing Bradley last April.
A fifth encounter between Pacquiao and Marquez is a much-talked about affair after what transpired the last time the two met in December 2012, with Arum believing firmly that the ‘Pacman’ just went through a blip and not the beginning of a career decline.
“It was the best Manny Pacquiao,” pointed out Arum. “People look at the Cotto and Hatton fights and see Manny as this devastating knockout puncher, which he never was.
“Look at the fight against De La Hoya, where he threw punches, in and out and more punches – that was the Manny Pacquiao that fought Bradley in their rematch – the Pacquiao that fought De La Hoya – that’s Manny’s big style.
“He punches hard, he moves and he is very hard to hit when he wants to be hard to hit. That was a magnificent performance by Manny Pacquiao.”
As Arum closes in on another lucrative instalment of Pacquiao v Marquez, talks with Oscar De La Hoya have been highly-publicised and it is now thought that some of his big name fighters could soon be sharing the ring with Golden Boy’s finest once again.
“As I have said to everyone that will listen, I have absolutely no problems whatsoever dealing with Oscar De La Hoya. I was his promoter for many, many years and we have renewed our friendship. We hope to work very closely with him in the future,” he added.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Márquez Boxing, PS4 and Tecate, remaining tickets to Márquez vs. Alvarado, priced at $400, $250, $150, $75 and $35, can be purchased at the Forum box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (800-745-3000), and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.fabulousforum.com
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN