RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez wants to close out his career by going four-for-four.
What is implied by that is the 38-year-old, three-division titlewinner wants to earn his fourth belt over as many weight classes with a victory over IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson, and then to go after what in his mind would be his fourth triumph over WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao.
Marquez appears to have been offered a shot at doing both by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who is considering a four-man tournament that would match the winner between Marquez and Peterson opposite that from a clash featuring Pacquiao against WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley.
In accordance with that scenario, Marquez would debut at 140 pounds against Peterson in April or May at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, after which he would face Pacquiao if the eight-division beltwinner gets beyond Bradley in a bout that is being targeted for June 9 in Las Vegas at either the Thomas & Mack Center or the MGM Grand.
According to Arum, the format hinges on whether or not Arum can secure a November match between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., and became an option after negotiations for a Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto rematch faltered over junior middleweight Cotto’s reluctance to fight at the 147-pound welterweight limit.
Mayweather, Bradley, Cotto, Marquez and Peterson were all being considered as potential opponents for Pacquiao, although it is now believed that Cotto is among the candidates to face Mayweather on a target date of May 5 at the MGM Grand.
Marquez is coming off November’s majority decision loss to Pacquiao, a bout that most ringside observers felt that he had won. Marquez has battled Pacquiao through a draw and a split-decision loss over the course of two prior meetings.
Marquez is a free agent outside of his relationship with Mexico-based Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, who books his fights, and claims that he won’t sign to face Peterson unless the contract guarantees a shot at the Pacquiao-Bradley winner.
Marquez sparked controversy by employing strength and conditioning guru, Angel Hernandez, to beef up for Pacquiao, and said that he plans to use him again over the course of his future fights.
Marquez shared his thoughts with RingTV.com below.