Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: 4th Fight Almost a Done Deal

Leo ReyesAnalyst IAugust 31, 2012

Pacquiao vs. Marquez
Pacquiao vs. MarquezEthan Miller/Getty Images

With Miguel Cotto's official announcement that he is facing undefeated welterweight Austin Trout, the waiting game for Manny Pacquiao's next opponent has practically ended.

In his Twitter post Friday, Cotto said: "I officially announce that my fight on Dec 1st@MSGnyc will be with the Undefeated WBA Super Welterweight, Austin Trout."

Cotto's announcement leaves Pacquiao with just two possible opponents for his next fight which include Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. 

It may be recalled that Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum, visited Pacquiao in the Philippines early last month and gave the Filipino boxing star a shortlist of possible opponents for his November 10 fight which included the name of Miguel Cotto.

Now that Cotto is out of contention, Pacquiao has to choose between a rematch with Bradley and a fourth fight with Marquez.

But with opposition from Pacquiao's camp for a rematch with Bradley based on a recent statement from Pacquiao's legal adviser Franklin Gacal, it appears boxing fans will be treated to another 12 rounds (or less) of boxing between Pacquiao and Marquez.

"Pacquiao's lawyer, Franklin Gacal Jr., said Timothy Bradley, who defeated Pacquiao via a controversial split decision in June, is definitely out of the equation," Edwin Espejo of writes.

Bradley is not a popular choice as Pacquiao's opponent due mainly to his poor performance in helping generate substantial pay-per-view (PPV) numbers which make the fight viable. His recent fight with Pacquiao has generated less than 800,000 PPV which is very low compared Pacquiao's most recent fights.

Right after the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy bout last year, Arum has already set the stage for a fourth fight after Marquez protested the decision of judges giving the fight to Pacquiao. Marquez claimed he was robbed of his victory for the third time.

In 2004, Marquez and Pacquiao fought to a controversial draw in a featherweight bout (126 pounds). Pacquiao would have won via a split decision if not for a scoring error committed by one of the judges, who scored a round at 10-7 instead of 10-6 for Pacquiao's three knockdowns of Marquez.

In 2008, at super featherweight (130 pounds), Marquez and Pacquiao clashed again in a hotly contested rematch in which Pacquiao earned a split-decision victory. Pacquiao's third-round knockdown of Marquez must have influenced the decision of the judges, as they gave the winning score to the Filipino boxing star.

In 2011, Pacquiao and Marquez fought for the third time at a catch weight of 144 pounds in which Marquez lost again via majority decision. But, Marquez protested, claiming he was again robbed of his victory for the third time.

Marquez campaigned hard for another lucrative fight with Pacquiao, but as Arum was on the verge of signing him up again with the Filipino ring icon, Marquez reportedly upped his asking price which prompted the astute promoter to explore a possible rematch with Miguel Cotto.

With Cotto's announcement of his next opponent, venue and ring date, Marquez seems to have gotten Pacquiao in the bag for the fourth time.