After Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao in 2012, he thought he had completed his journey with the Filipino superstar. When Bob Arum of Top Rank, his and Pacquiao’s promoter, talked about a possible fifth fight Marquez would shut down the chatter quickly.
It looks like Marquez and Pacquiao’s paths could cross again in the future now that Marquez is interested in making history. If Marquez beats Mike Alvarado at the Forum in Inglewood, California on Saturday night, then he will be in line to challenge Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title. Pacquiao took the title from Timothy Bradley with a 12-round unanimous decision last month.
A fifth fight against Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title represents an opportunity for Marquez to become the only Mexican boxer to ever win five world championships in five different weight classes.
Marquez, Bradley and Pacquiao have formed a crazy triangle in the last two years. Of course Marquez and Pacquiao have an involved history, having fought four times with Pacquiao winning two fights by decision, one fight being a draw and Marquez winning the last one in spectacular fashion.
Pacquiao lost a controversial split decision and his WBO welterweight title to Bradley. Then Pacquiao was KO’ed by Marquez. Bradley went on to dominate Marquez in a lopsided decision. And Pacquiao came back around to Bradley and won back his WBO title with a 12-round decision.
Marquez said Pacquiao, who was shaken after Marquez knocked him out, returned to top form with the recent victory over Bradley.
"I saw the best Manny Pacquiao. Right now, Pacquiao is using his speed and his movement in the ring. I saw the best Manny Pacquiao because he landed a lot of punches with his speed. I liked the way that Manny Pacquiao fought," Marquez said. "Pacquiao wants to beat everybody. Right now, Manny Pacquiao is a champion again. Everybody knows that Pacquiao is a great fighter."
When Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) steps in against Alvarado it will be his first match since losing to Bradley last October. It won’t be a cakewalk, because Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) is a tough ring warrior. He was stopped in the seventh round by Brandon Rios for the WBO junior welterweight title in 2012, won the title back with a unanimous decision in the rematch in March of last year and then lost the title again via 10th round KO by Ruslan Provodnikov last October.
A couple of years ago, Marquez didn’t want to have anything else to do with Pacquiao. Now he is relishing the thought, because at 40 years old, history means something to him.
"It's not that difficult for me. Maybe in the future, I will have the most important fight of my career,’’ Marquez said of a possible historic match against Pacquiao for that fifth world championship in five different weight classes. "Right now, I'm thinking about Alvarado. I know that Manny Pacquiao is there if I win this fight. I don't want to look past this fight right now. Let's find out what happens on Saturday and then go from there."