Even without a fifth fight, Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez has become one of the best boxing rivalries of our time.
Despite Marquez indicating otherwise, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum feels that his fighter will have at least one more chance for vengeance.
The boxing legends had their fourth match pull in huge ratings across the board, as Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round in Las Vegas. Since then, speculation has been running wild about a fifth showdown between the two, but Marquez's most recent comments made it seem like another fight against Pac-Man was beneath him.
Here're the comments he made to Boxingscene, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports' Paul Magno:
I think for me there is no point [in a fifth fight]. We already achieved the desired result. Then why do it? So I also asked several people, several friends that I have around me and they told me not to do it, that there is no point in a fifth fight. I said before the fourth fight that no matter how this fight ends, there can not be a fifth.
Marquez has maintained that he felt robbed in at least two of the first three fights between the two, and many believe he should have won the third fight outright.
That all came to a head in December, when JMM took advantage of Pacquiao's inability to close in the first five rounds and put him on the canvas in the sixth. With that final punch, Marquez finally held the leverage in the bouts between the two, since Pacquiao is the one that now needs to convince the world that he's not finished.
That fact was noted by Magno in his article:
Now, the tables have turned and it's Marquez who can sit back and watch the other side squirm a little. He can take the time to consider other options before deciding on Pacquiao's fate. While it's true that a fifth Pacquiao bout offers him the biggest payday, it's also true that Pacquiao and Bob Arum need this bout.
That's all true, but sometimes money can be a key factor in a fighter's decision. It's one of the reasons Pacquiao apparently hasn't filed for a fighting license in Las Vegas yet (h/t Sports Direct News), and it's one of the reasons Arum thinks his client will eventually get a fifth fight with Marquez.
Arum spoke with Manilatimes.net about his comments about Marquez's reluctance to fight again, and he believes it's just a matter of time before the fight commences (h/t BoxingNews24.com):
Believe me, Pacquiao-Marquez 5 will happen. Negotiations, this is about negotiations.
As long as the fight isn't in the United States, each fighter will take home a huge purse and won't have to pay 40 percent of their winnings in taxes to the state in which the fight takes place.
We know Arum has been about maximizing his return for these fights, and promising a big purse for Marquez might tempt the fighter to re-enter the ring one last time on his terms. Potential destinations for the fight include China and Marquez's native Mexico—something that shouldn't be overlooked during "negotiations" for a fifth fight.
Still, Marquez holds all the cards for a fifth fight. If Arum can get him to come out of a potential retirement and put his career on the line one last time, then he really is a genius.
This fight is a long way out, and we likely won't hear any news about it until Marquez takes some time off and Pac-Man is done with his elections in the Philippines.
It's wait-and-see mode for a fifth fight between these two legends, even if Arum is sure it gets done.