Sport & Culture

Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV Close to Reality

It appears Manny Pacquiao will once again face Juan Manuel Marquez. It leaves Timothy Bradley in limbo.

It was a fight that shocked a nation and the whole boxing world. It was one of the biggest boxing injustices in history. The one consolation for fans of Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines and elsewhere was that at least the fighter would soon right the wrong.

Apart from two judges in Las Vegas in June, hardly anyone thought that Timothy Bradley had actually defeated Pacquiao. So it was assumed that the Filipino star would waste little time in meeting the American again and this time beating him officially.

So it may come as some surprise that the LA Times and now other news sources are reporting a decision by ‘Manny’ not to face Bradley and to instead take on Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time, probably in Las Vegas on December 8.

"We're having a meeting about Manny's next fight and to get everything finalized," Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said. "My goal is to finalize the Marquez fight, but I have to meet with (Koncz, the boxer’s advisor)."

"It's at the MGM," Arum said. "The eighth is for sure. Vegas is for sure."

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There is some consolation for those who wanted a Bradley rematch. The three fights between Pacquiao and Marquez have been close,action-packed and controversial.

The two last met in November with Pacquiao winning after a tight decision. So facing Marquez is a risk but a convincing win would silence the doubters.

"Manny is the consummate entertainer and showman who cares about his fans," Pacquiao manager Michael Koncz said. "He heard the boos after his last fight with Marquez. He has a lot of fans in Mexico and loves them. He wants to bring those fans back.”

It could well be, and this being boxing it probably is, down to money. 1.35 million fans paid to watch the last Marquez fight, almost 400,000 more than shelled out to see the Bradley bout.

Reports also suggest that Bradley’s asking price was too high.

Bradley himself has a different story.

"I can't believe these guys," Bradley told The Desert Sun on Wednesday. "He didn't want any part of me. Marquez is an easier fight. He knows that a fight with me and two good legs is going to be hell.

"I can't believe it. Any champion who lost his belt, you would want to redeem yourself."

Bradley is in a kind of limbo. He knows that many think his title is undeserved and unless he faces Paquiaco again and wins, he is not going to be able to do anything about it. He will have to wait.