BE it a fifth fight with old Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez or not, Manny Pacquiao is returning to Macau on November 16 to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title belt.
Top Rank Promotions chairman Bob Arum said there’s lot of options for the 35-year-old boxing great from General Santos City if and when Marquez shunned another showdown with Pacquiao.
“There’s a lot of stuff happening now and we have to see how this all shakes out,” said Arum shortly after Marquez beat Mike Alvarado with a 12-round unanimous decision on Sunday (Manila time) at the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles.
The match served as a title eliminator for the right to face Pacquiao six months from now.
Arum is all set to work out the details of Pacquiao’s second bout in Macau in a year, although Marquez was non-committal on going up against the very same man he knocked unconscious in a stunning sixth round victory in December of 2012.
“I’m not making a decision on Pacquiao right now. I felt great in the fight (against Alvarado) and I know I did a great job, but let me see how I feel in a couple of weeks. I am not making a decision on a Pacquiao fight right away. I'm gonna rest and think about it," said the Mexican, who improved to 56-7-1, with 40 KOs following the win over Alvarado.
But Arum is confident about convincing Marquez of agreeing to fight Pacquiao one more time, with the projected big money involved and the prospect of him becoming the first Mexican boxer to win a world title in five weight divisions an enticing proposition for him to take the match.
"I'm fairly confident I’ll make it. Manny wants the fight. So it's going to be up to Marquez. It really is. I think there's a lot of money in the fight,” said the veteran promoter.
Just in case Marquez is not interested, Arum has a lot of fall-back options including doing a fight with Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov or any of Golden Boy Promotions’ fighters after the 82-year-old Arum began seeing eye-to-eye again with fellow promoter Oscar dela Hoya.
Provodnikov, set to fight Chris Algieri in Brookly on June 14, was at ringside during the Marquez-Alvarado match together with trainer Freddie Roach, whose ward Ukrainian Viktor Postol stopped Selcuk Aydin with a stunning right uppercut in the 11th round of their 140-pound bout before the main event.
Pacquiao first fought in Macau in November of last year when he scored a 12-round unanimous decision against American Brandon Rios.