By James Slater – Even at age 37, Mexican lightweight star Juan Manuel Marquez remains both a pound-for-pound entrant and a huge name. Next up for “Dinamita” is this coming Saturday night’s clash with tough and unrelenting Australian Michael Katsidis. And Marquez is focused solely and intently on winning this fight – even though he has been talking about his desire to land a third fight with superstar Manny Pacquiao.
The two greats fought to a draw in 2004 and then, in the return, Marquez lost an extremely close split decision. Naturally, as he believes he deserved the win on both occasions, Marquez craves a third clash. Marquez, though, had to read recently how Pac-Man said that he has no interest in a third fight, claiming that no-one would watch it if they did fight again..
Marquez, and his promoter Richard Schaefer disagree with what Pacquiao said (non too surprisingly), and in speaking with Ringtv.com, both men made it clear a third fight would be a great fight as well as a big attraction.
“People want to see this fight,” Marquez said on the subject of a third bout between he and Pac-Man. “He’s just avoiding me. He doesn’t want to fight me. That’s the truth – I remember I fought him in 2004. They spent four years making a rematch. Now it will be three years [since the second fight] and I don’t hear anything.”
Marquez is of the belief that he and he alone can defeat Pacquiao today; convinced not only that that his style and technique can master Pacquiao’s, but that he has already beaten the Filipino icon twice. And Schaefer also feels styles make fights, and that Marquez’ style will always overcome Pacquiao’s style.
“I don’t think Pacquiao or [Bob] Arum have any interest in making another fight with Juan Manuel because we know styles make fights,” Schaefer is quoted as saying by Ringtv.com. “And he has the style to beat Pacquiao.”
The first meeting between the pound-for-pound rivals came down at featherweight, the return up at super-feather – and a problem that would have to be overcome in making a third fight would be the weight at which the bout would be held. And Ringtv.com reports how Freddie Roach wants the fight, if it happens, to take place at 147-pounds; a poundage that is too high for Marquez to be effective at.
So, Schaefer, in case the big fight fails to materialise, has other options in mind for Marquez’ next fight after Katsidis (and of course, Marquez must win that fight before he can even think about the next guy). And who does the Golden Boy CEO have in mind for Marquez in 2011?
“Juan Manuel is the boss, if he wants to move up to 140 and fight someone there, I think there are great fights,” Schaefer said. “I know Amir Khan would like it. I’m sure Marcos Maidana would too, whoever wins that battle (On Dec. 11th). Another fight I’d like to see and the fans would embrace is Marquez and [Erik] Morales if Morales beats Jorge Barrios (on Dec. 18th). All the great Mexicans fought one another but these two never did.”
Though Morales is no longer the fighter he once was, and though he is far more faded than is Marquez (even though “El Terrible” is considerably younger), Schaefer is probably correct when he says the fans would “embrace” a Marquez-Morales fight. As for “Dinamita” going up in weight and challenging the Khan-Maidana winner (which most people seem to think will be the lethal-punching Argentine), that would surely be a case of a great fighter biting off more than he can chew – especially at this late stage in his long career.
I think it will happen providing he beats Katsidis on Saturday: Marquez Vs. Morales – Mexico Vs. Mexico!