Top Rank has made a formal offer to Juan Manuel Marquez to be Manny Pacquiao’s opponent in October if the Filipino icon beats Shane Mosley on May 7, according to several reports.
Bob Arum's company sent the offer to Golden Boy Promotions, whose contract with Marquez has expired but which retains the right to match any offer. That apparently is why Top Rank contacted Golden Boy.
"Last Friday, April 22, Top Rank made a firm offer to Juan Manuel Marquez to fight Manny Pacquiao in October for his WBO 147-pound belt," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com. "Part of the deal includes a rematch provision in case Marquez would win. So Pacquiao could potentially be tied up for quite a while."
The offer to Marquez, which included no specific date or site, contradicts comments Arum made last week.
He was quoted as saying by boxingscene.com: "A fight with Marquez is not possible. It's a question of weight. Pacquiao rose in weight and continued to fight between welterweight and super welterweight, and you know the results. Marquez cannot go to that weight because his fights above 135 have not been consistent. You can't have a yo-yo diet where you go up and down. You have to establish yourself in a division and then fight at that weight."
Pacquiao has faced Marquez twice, fighting to a draw in 2004 and losing a split decision in 2008.
Those fights were at 126 pounds and 130 pounds, respectively. This fight would take place at 147 pounds, at which Pacquiao has performed well. Marquez looked painfully slow when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. at that weight. He last fought at 135 pounds, which is probably his natural weight.
Thus, many observers believe the third fight would be a mismatch.
Golden Boy has made a multi-fight offer to retain Marquez, including fights against Zab Judah and possibly Robert Guerrero. However, Marquez presumably would make much more money fighting Pacquiao than anyone else.
Top Rank’s offer also is an indication that Pacquiao has no plans to pursue a fight Mayweather this year. Pacquiao and Mayweather have had two rounds of negotiations and nothing to show for it.