Michael Rosenthal

Marquez would love to fight Pacquiao but not optimstic

LOS ANGELES – Juan Manuel Marquez is a veteran at pursuing Manny Pacquiao, which is why he isn’t overly optimistic about the prospects of a third fight with the sport’s biggest star.

The six-time titleholder from Mexico, who fights Michael Katsidis on Saturday in Las Vegas, drew with Pacquiao in a brutal fight in 2004 and had to wait four years for a rematch, which Pacquiao won. Now it’s been another 2½ years since that fight.

Pacquiao has said he would consider meeting Marquez one more time but told reporters in the Philippines, according to the Los Angeles Times, “If I were a boxing fan, I would not watch Pacquiao versus Marquez,” even though their first two fights were compelling.

Also, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, has said he would want to do that fight at 147 pounds, which is too heavy for Marquez. He would want a catch weight no higher than 144.

“People want to see this fight,” he said through a translator. “He’s just avoiding me. He doesn’t want to face 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 and I don’t hear anything.

“… I won’t be surprised if they give it to (Andre) Berto or (Shane) Mosley. For whatever reason, he doesn’t want to fight me. Or maybe it’s his (promotional) company. Maybe it’s Bob Arum, not Pacquiao.”

Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, Marquez’s promoter, would love to see the fight but also isn’t optimistic.

“I remember standing next to Bob at the post-fight press conference after the last fight,” Schaefer said. “I was disgusted with the decision, as I think most fans and members of the media were. I said, ‘This fighter clearly deserves a rematch.’ Bob started lecturing me, saying he had no problem with a rematch but he wanted to let it marinate or mature or whatever.

“I said then and I say it here now: I don’t think Pacquiao or Arum have any interest in making another fight with Juan Manuel because we know styles make fights. … And he has the style to beat Pacquiao.”

Marquez said he isn’t looking past Katsidis, who he sees as a legitimate threat. However, where might he turn if things go well?

The leading candidate is fellow Mexican Erik Morales, who is making a comeback after a two-plus year “retirement.” Marquez didn’t want to discuss that possibility because he wants to focus on Katsidis but Schaefer loves the idea.

Marquez would probably have to move up from 135 pounds to 140 to make it happen.

“Juan Manuel is the boss,” he said. “If he wants to move up to 140 and fight someone there, I think there are great fights. I know Amir Khan would like it. I’m sure Marcos Maidana would too, whoever wins that battle. Another fight, as a fan, I’d like to see and the fans would embrace is Marquez and Morales if Morales beats Jorge Barrios (on Dec. 18).

“… All the great Mexicans fought one another but these two never did. I think there’d be a lot of interesting story lines there.”

No fan of Margarito: Marquez said he was embarrassed by Antonio Margarito’s performance against Pacquiao on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium.

“It was very painful (to watch),” he said, “because all Mexicans expected Margarito could beat Pacquiao. It was shame. He looked so mechanical, so slow. He brought the Mexicans down. … He looked like an amateur. He didn’t know how to walk, didn’t know how to throw a jab. It was very disappointing.”

Marquez believes Robert Garica, Margarito’s trainer, should’ve stopped the fight to prevent further punishment in the final rounds.

“The decision is supposed to be the corner’s,” he said. “First the corner, then the referee, then the doctor. Everyone knows that Margarito is a warrior, a proud fighter. That’s why they didn’t stop the fight. But they should’ve because it was a bad beating.”

Rafael Marquez: Marquez said his brother, Rafael Marquez, still has difficulty moving his arm after suffering or exacerbating a shoulder injury in his loss to Juan Manuel Lopez on Nov. 6.

“He’s OK,” Marquez said. “He still has a problem; he can’t move it now but it’ll be OK. I don’t know if he’ll have surgery. They say maybe, maybe not. … I feel Rafa did the right thing to stop the fight because he had an injury. Look what happened with Margarito. That should’ve been stopped after about eight rounds.

“… Rafa closes the show in the 10th, 11th, 12th rounds. He closes very good. And we know Lopez slows down. He was doing very good but unfortunately he had the injury.”

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