Juan Manuel Marquez promised arch-rival, Manny Pacquiao, the fifth installment of their saga after knocking the Filipino out cold on December 8 of 2012.
Promoter Fernando Beltran said Marquez would return the favor and grant Pacquiao the chance to redeem himself following the sixth-round KO.
Beltran even penciled in a date of September 14th for the massive 2013 encounter.
“Juan Manuel Marquez is a gentleman and we think Manny gave us the opportunity without needing to give us one and if we need to fight him, we will fight him,” Beltran said at the time.
It never transpired.
Citing Pacquiao’s decision to face Marquez in a fourth fight, Beltran was eager to return the favor. Everybody knew the fight would make a lot of money.
Pacquiao was up in the series after three bouts, controversially, but could have easily walked away without giving the Mexican a fourth chance.
In hindsight, maybe he should have.
Marquez had his revenge. The thought of giving that up for Pacquiao to potentially gain another dodgy decision or a stoppage was too much of an incentive to stay away.
At the time, they were Top Rank’s two biggest stars. WBN asked Carlo Moretti if there was a chance of getting the pair together.
“The fight (between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Marquez) is so far off,” Moretti told WBN. “No serious consideration has been given to anything yet.”
We know now that Marquez was fully behind this decision.
Fight fans were desperate to see the two warriors in the ring again. If anything to gauge whether the ‘Pacman’ was still capable of overcoming a foe he has beaten twice before.
Advisor Fred Sternburg assured WBN that the fight was too lucrative to not go ahead. Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum did all he could to persuade Marquez.
“I am sure Bob Arum has read these comments (by Marquez saying he won’t do it). But Pacquiao v Marquez V is too huge, both financially and as an event,” Sternberg told World Boxing News.
Suggestions that Marquez was holding out for a larger share of the pot were way off the mark.
‘Dinamita’ wouldn’t even do it for a 50-50 split of the purse. Even when $100 million was laid on the line.
People wanted another option to see something like what they witnessed in that exceptional fifth round at the MGM Grand.
Top Rank pulled out all the stops, even as far forward as 2016, although it was Marquez who just didn’t want to go down that same road.