After all the talks and different speculations about his upcoming fight, Manny Pacquiao will be a fighting a familiar foe after all.
Top Rank promotion boss Bob Arum said on Thursday that a deal that will pit Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time has been reached, a decision that is expected to receive both positive and negative reactions from fight fans.
According to Arum, the deal needs to be finalized first but the two bitter rivals will surely face each other again inside the ring on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, contrary to previous speculation about the fight being held in Mexico.
“We’re having a meeting about Manny’s next fight and to get everything finalized,” Arum said. “My goal is to finalize the Marquez fight, but I have to meet with Michael Koncz. It’s at the MGM. The eighth is for sure. Vegas is for sure.”
Pacquiao and Marquez first met in 2004 in which the Mexican escaped with a draw in a fight that should have gone in Pacquiao’s favor had a judge who admitted a mistake scored the bout correctly. The Filipino champion then scored a split decision win in 2008 followed by a majority decision victory last year in a fight that seemed to have gone Marquez’s way.
Before this development, Pacquiao was said to be leaning towards to facing Miguel Cotto once again, but the former Puerto Rican champion decided to face junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout.
Timothy Bradley, who defeated Pacquiao via a highly-controversial decision last June that was eventually reversed by the World Boxing Organization, was also considered, but Arum is said to be cold on the idea after not receiving warm feedbacks from fight fans.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, on the other hand, gave his opinion about facing Marquez again, admitting that he is not sold to the idea of taking a risk against a fighter that gave Pacquiao headaches in their first three meetings.
“I don’t like that fight,” Roach said. “It’s just always very difficult and no matter what I tell Manny, he’s tempted to go back to his old way, which isn’t working.”
Facing Marquez could be a high risk low reward fight for Pacquiao since a loss will definitely put himself out of a possible mega-showdown with Floyd Mayweather next week.