LAS VEGAS — The deal is done: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, already with a storied three-fight series against each other in the books, will fight for the fourth time, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Friday.
They will meet Dec. 8 HBO PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the site of their epic first and third fights.Pacquiao picked Marquez over welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr., who claimed his belt with an extraordinarily controversial split-decision win against Pacquiao on June 9.
Marquez, Bradley and Miguel Cotto were all candidates to face Pacquiao. Then Cotto, Pacquiaos preferred opponent, made a deal to fight junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York, trimming the list to Marquez and Bradley.Rafaels Boxing BlogGet the latest scoop and analysis on the world of boxing from ESPN.coms Dan Rafael in his blog.
Pacquiao picked Marquez because the money was bigger, Arum told ESPN.com on Friday.Arum said he is guaranteeing Pacquiao $23 million for the fight. Had he faced Bradley again it would have been “considerably less,” Arum said, declining to reveal the figure.”Because the economics for the Marquez fight were so much greater than for a Bradley rematch, that is what Manny decided to do,” Arum said. “Its so much greater because of the support Marquez has from the Hispanic community. Look at the past numbers. When Pacquiao fought Marquez in November it sold close to 1.3 million pay-per-view. Bradley was about 900,000. Thats a big difference. Plus, the gate goes from probably $8 million to $12 million.”Freddie Roach, Pacquiaos trainer, said once Cotto turned down an offer he preferred for Pacquiao to fight Bradley again — but he did not get his way.”Manny knew I would prefer Bradley,” Roach said. “I think the money was a huge factor. Bradley doesnt bring the people Marquez does. But I would have rather had revenge for that bad decision in June.”
Arum said Pacquiao was on a plane on his way from the Philippines to Los Angeles to kick off the three-city media tour for the fight on Monday in Beverly Hills. They will move to New York to meet the media on Wednesday followed by a trip to Mexico City on Friday. In addition, Arum said they would spend Thursday at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., for a series of television appearances promoting the bout.