HOUSTON – It could be Juan Manuel Marquez’s way of greeting Manny Pacquiao a happy birthday.
The ageing yet still fiery Mexican appears to be amenable to doing a fifth fight with his long-time boxing nemesis from the Philippines.
Angel Heredia, the controversial strength and conditioning coach of the 39-year-old Marquez, disclosed the boxing hero from Mexico City is open to the idea of clashing with Pacquiao in the ring again. Marquez is barely two weeks removed from his astounding sixth-round knockout of the Filipino boxing star at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“They’re talking about a fifth fight, and I think Marquez, I spoke to him, wants to do it,” said Heredia while here for the Nonito Donaire Jr.-Jorge Arce super-bantamweight title match at the Toyota Center over the weekend.
“It’s really up to the promoters on what they really want to do.”
Heredia is the latest member of Marquez's inner circle to come out in the open and make known how the Mexican is interested in another 12-round of battle against Pacquiao, who turns 34 Monday.
Marquez initially refused to commit when asked about a fifth encounter with the Filipino southpaw, saying he’ll rather savor his victory first and celebrate with his family rather than think about the matter.
After absorbing that stunning loss, the 'Pacman' didn’t think twice about meeting Marquez again when asked if a fifth bout is possible. Top Rank Promotions Bob Arum is also on the same page as he didn’t contradict the possibility of the two ring warriors facing each other again late next year.
Heredia said Marquez is going to take a rest from boxing for the next two months, and will be eyeing a fight comeback sometime in June in a possible tune-up for the Pacquiao bout.
The exercise science program graduate at Texas A&M is also glad to hear that Pacquaio is celebrating his birthday in General Santos City, referring to the boxing sensation as still one of his favorites.
“I don’t think he’ll retire because he’s a tremendous fighter,” he said. "I think he can still comeback anytime. He’s a warrior."
Heredia himself is very much in favor of Pacquiao and Marquez going at each other again, stressing the rivalry stretches to the fighter’s respective corners, with him pitted against Alex Ariza, and Freddie Roach opposite Nacho Beristain.
“You’re looking at a whole complete team going at each other,” he added.