Sources have informed us that after meeting with Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions last weekend, three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez has essentially already agreed to terms to face 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao on November 10th at a venue that has yet to be determined. Pacquiao is also said to be strongly leaning towards a fourth bout with Marquez as opposed to a rematch with Bradley, who he feels he clearly defeated last Saturday despite the judges awarding the split decision victory to the newly-crowned WBO welterweight champion.
"If everybody else thinks that I won the match, then why do we have to do a rematch," Pacquiao would comment in the presence of Abac Cordero of The Philippine STAR just days removed from the bout. Evidently, the only outstanding issue to resolve is the venue. Feeling as though he himself was robbed after losing a close yet controversial decision to Pacquiao in Las Vegas, Marquez prefers the bout to take place either in his hometown of Mexico City or in a more neutral location, like Texas.
Unfortunately for both Marquez and promoter Bob Arum, Pacquiao appears to be playing hardball, proclaiming his preference to only fight in Las Vegas during Saturday's post-fight press conference. "I prefer to fight here in Vegas because I love Las Vegas," Pacquiao commented shortly after Arum suggested that his next bout could take place in another state other than Nevada, where Pacquiao suffered the controversial loss to Bradley. Arum attempted to interrupt Pacquiao while he spoke, stating, "Manny, but Manny," but the fighting Congressman from the Philippines continued, "Sorry Bob, especially MGM. They promote a lot of fights with me. I'm really thankful to MGM because I have done many fights here in MGM and some hotels that's in Las Vegas, so I prefer to come back here in Las Vegas to see the fans."
So the task now, it would seem, is for Arum to seal the deal with Pacquiao and convince him to fight elsewhere; most likely in Texas at Cowboys Stadium. Coincidentally, earlier this week, Arum submitted a formal request to the Nevada Attorney General's office for a "full and complete inquiry into the circumstances surround the scoring of Saturday's WBO welterweight championship fight." Although that may sound good on the surface, Arum is fully aware of the reality that the Nevada Attorney General is powerless to overturn a subjective decision that was made by three judges. In fact, during the post-fight press conference, Arum himself said, "I have as much chance to win a protest as to challenge President Obama's birth certificat, which is none, so why go through the effort?"
If, Arum said, he has no chance to win a protest, then why exactly is he going through the effort? Why put in the formal request to the Nevada Attorney General? In my opinion, it's all simply an attempt to convince Pacquiao that he shouldn't bother fighting in a state that won't help him correct the injustice he believes he suffered on Saturday night. The question is, will Manny be fooled by the tactics? Time will tell, but personally, I think he will. So on November 10th, be prepared to see Pacquiao standing across the ring from Marquez for a fourth time in Cowboys Stadium.