LAS VEGAS — A deal has been struck for Manny Pacquiao to take a fourth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand on Dec. 8, Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, informed RingTV.com on Wednesday night.
Koncz finalized the matchup with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum earlier on Wednesday in Las Vegas, where Arum is promoting Saturday night’s HBO Pay Per View-televised card headlined by WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defending against RING champion Sergio Martinez at the Thomas and Mack Center.
“A lot of things had to be discussed, so we took our time with Marquez,” said Koncz. “There’s more issues than money.”
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) chose Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) over a rematch with Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), who defeated Pacquiao by controversial split-decision in June for the WBO’s 147-pound belt, ending Pacquiao’s 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Marquez lost in November to Pacquiao, who was the official winner by majority decision, with ringside judges Glenn Trowbridge and Dave Moretti turning in scores of 116-112 and 115-113, respectively, while Robert Hoyle called it even at 114-114. Public opinion, however, was largely in Marquez’s favor.
In a comprehensive poll of 20 boxing media members present at ringside, only one saw Pacquiao as the victor against Marquez. The breakdown among writers was 12 for Marquez, seven in favor of a draw and one for Pacquiao.
“Manny loves all of his fans all over the world, especially his Filipino fans. But we know that we have a lot of Mexican fans also,” said Koncz.
“Manny also knows that we may have lost some Mexican fans as a result of the last fight because we were getting booed during the decision of the fight.”
Marquez bounced back with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s interim junior welterweight belt, which has since been “upgraded” by the organization to full title status.
The duo’s previous two fights ended in a draw and another split-decision loss for Marquez.
“Manny is an entertainer, and he always wants to give the best that he can to his fans,” said Koncz. “Manny’s not making any excuses for his last performance, but right now, the most interesting fight that’s available for Manny is Marquez,” said Koncz.
“This one is for the fans. So we decided to take that fight, and, hopefully, come Dec. 8, we will have a performance that will warrant us winning back some of the Mexican fans that we love so dearly and who we lost the last fight.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org