LOS ANGELES--Juan Manuel Marquez, meet Manny Pacquiao. Again.
Marquez scored a unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado at the Forum on Saturday night, and Pacquiao, who reclaimed his welterweight world title in April with a unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley, had already agreed to fight the winner of Marquez-Alvarado.
"If the winner of this fight wants to fight Manny, Manny has already agreed to fight the winner," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said.
Now the 40-year-old Marquez will take the next step toward becoming the first Mexican fighter to win a world title in five weight classes. That will require beating Pacquiao in a fifth career meeting.
Marquez scored a sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao in their most recent meeting, in December 2012. However, Marquez subsequently lost the title in a split decision to Bradley last October.
The biggest fight between Pacquiao and Marquez this time could come down to how to split the purse.
The most recent time they fought, Marquez received a $6-million guarantee while Pacquiao was guaranteed $20 million. But, seeing as Marquez won that fight by knockout, he's not going to be happy with that type of disparity should they fight again.
"It's going to be a very difficult negotiation," Marquez's trainer and longtime manager Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain said last week of a potential fight with Pacquiao.
Asked what kind of purse split Marquez is seeking and if was 50/50, Beristain said, "I don't know. It all depends on this fight."
Said Arum: "All negotiations are difficult, but we do know each other well, and our history is to find a solution."
Since 2009, meanwhile, boxing fans have clamored for a fight between Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., who earlier this month won a majority decision over Marcos Maidana in a welterweight championship unification bout in Las Vegas.
Mayweather's critics insist that for the past five years he's been running from Pacquiao, unwilling to fight the rapid-punching Filipino superstar.
There were early hurdles. Mayweather wanted a drug-testing program that Pacquiao initially refused but eventually agreed to. They argued over how to split the purse, but Pacquiao has since conceded to a smaller percentage. And then there's the bitter feud between Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank's Arum, and the man who has promoted all of Mayweather's fights since 2007, Golden Boy Promotions Chief Executive Richard Schaefer. Arum and Schaefer have not co-promoted a fight since 2009.
Arum said this week he has essentially given up hope of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight ever happening.
"It's obvious to me that Mayweather and Pacquiao will not happen, because Mayweather doesn't want the fight," Arum said. "If you know boxing, and you see the Maidana fight, Mayweather has difficulty with a quick guy who punches a little and is left-handed.
"We've tried every which way to make that fight. For me now, it seems like it's almost a dead issue. Mayweather has this insane deal with Showtime where they pay him $32 million a fight, and they lost a ton of money in the last fight. People are saying, 'Enough of this. Fight Pacquiao.' Pacquiao would love to fight Mayweather, love it.
"You only have to ask Pacquiao, 'Do you want to fight Mayweather?' and he says, 'Certainly I want to fight him.' You talk to Mayweather: 'What am I going to fight him for? He lost. He got knocked out...' You can tell by that response, who really wants it and who doesn't want it."
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