Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pacquiao booked a flight to US to finalize Marquez fight

Manny Pacquiao has already booked a flight to the US to iron out the final details of his impending fourth faceoff against Juan Manuel Marquez. According to his confidant, local boxing promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud, the Filipino boxer is set to fly to the US on Friday to meet Top Rank executive Bob Arum. 

“Aalis siya bukas ng gabi,” Salud said in an interview in ANC’s Top Story. “Pagtungo siya doon para pag-usapan yan (Marquez fight).” 

Salud said the reason Pacquiao is leaning on another ring tussle with Marquez is the pay-per-view factor, noting that the Filipino’s fight against Timothy Bradley had fewer pay-per-view buys compared to the Marquez bouts.

“Kasi ang laban nila ni Marquez [last November] ang pay-per-view nila ay umabot ng 1.4 [million],” said Salud. 

Aside from Bradley’s lack of marketability, Salud said the American boxer is likely to demand a higher purse now that he won the World Boxing Organization welterweight title. In his split decision victory against Pacquiao last June, Bradley received a guaranteed purse $5 million. “E nag-champion siya kay Manny, kung hihingi siya, doble na 'yon,” said Salud. Fight fans would like to see another Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 fight and this could hike the Filipino’s earnings, said Salud. Salud, however, admitted that there’s a downside in accepting the Marquez bout. 

“Kung matalo siya kay Marquez, ‘yung [Floyd] Mayweather fight wala na. 'Yun ang fight na gusto ng mga tao,” he said. Pacquiao initially wanted to face Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto in a rematch of their exciting scrap in 2009, which saw Pacquiao win via a 12th round technical knockout. 

But the Pacquiao and Cotto camps could not agree on a catchweight, and Cotto eventually decided to stay at junior middleweight where he will challenge Austin Trout on December 1 at the Madison Square Garden. That left Marquez and American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr as the remaining options for Pacquiao. Bradley had defeated Pacquiao via a highly controversial split decision last June, but reports indicated that Arum was hesitant to put together a rematch because the first fight did not do particularly well in the box office. 

Pacquiao owns a 2-0-1 win-loss-draw record against Marquez in a rivalry that stretches all the way back to 2004. In their first encounter, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round, only to see the Mexican get back up every time and rally to earn a draw. Pacquiao won a controversial split decision in their 2008 rematch and an even more controversial majority decision in their trilogy bout in November 2011.

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