When I witnessed Manny Pacquiao crash face-first to the canvas last Saturday at the MGM Grand, I was sure we had seen the end of the Pacquiao-Marquez feud. For the first time in eight years and over 42 rounds, there was finally a decisive conclusion to who was the better man. Both camps, and more so Pacquiao’s, had made it clear in the buildup that there wouldn’t be another fight.
But money talks.
It should come as no surprise that the fourth fight’s promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, is already talking about a fifth showdown as if it’s a done deal. Considering the fight sold out and generated a $10 million dollar live gate, it makes perfect business sense. Regarding the fans, there’ s many sore Pinoys out there who want to see Pacquiao get his shot at revenge, which is highly ironic considering there is absolutely zero chance Marquez would be getting another fight should he have been the one layed out last Saturday. The early pay-per-view estimates are at 1.25 million and the buzz around the aftermath has eclipsed any other fight this year in my opinion, even surpassing that of Mayweather-Cotto in May.
Per an interview with the LA Times, Arum believes Pacquiao-Marquez V is a “bigger fight” now than Mayweather-Pacquiao. That’s highly debatable, but no one can dispute the fans have spoken about this rivalry — they want it to continue. My belief that Juan Manuel Marquez would be paired with Brandon Rios is a no-go, as Arum has stated a Rios rematch with Mike Alvarado likely happens in March or April, and poor Timothy Bradley remains on the outside looking in.
So when does it Pacquiao-Marquez V happen? In the same LA Times piece, Arum states late April would be too soon with Pacquiao needing time off to recover and Marquez as well. Cinco de Mayo weekend in May would be an obvious choice, but that puts them right in the crosshairs of rival Golden Boy’s tentative plans to have Canelo Alvarez face either Floyd Mayweather or Miguel Cotto that weekend. I don’t even want to imagine the pandemonium in Las Vegas should Golden Boy and Top Rank square off again like they did in September with Alvarez vs. Lopez and Martinez vs. Chavez Jr. taking place within 2 miles of each other.
What are your thoughts? Will you buy or attend Pacquiao-Marquez V, or has this rivalry run its course?