Manny Pacquiao’s controversial win against Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday may stand in the way of a bigger bout looming ahead against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao defeated Marquez with a split majority decision in their third fight, one of which was a draw. Marquez, who won five rounds and landed a higher power punching percentage, said he was cheated.
"I really believe I have to drop [Pacquiao], but even if I drop him, I get the feeling they'll stand him back up and give him the fight again. I am very frustrated right now," Marquez said after the fight. “I'm happy about my performance, but I don't know what I need to do to change the minds of the judges. I'll sit down with my family and make a decision about continuing in this sport or simply retire.”
Ignacio Beristain, Marquez's trainer, said the decision was "a joke."
Pacquiao’s trainer, Fred Roach, said a fourth rematch might be on the horizon for the pair to solidify his fighter’s win over Marquez that is currently surrounded with many doubts.
“It was a fight I don’t want to do again, but we have to,” Roach said. “I think Manny won the fight but I do think Marquez fought a good fight and deserves a rematch.”
Pacquiao said the choice for his next fight was up to his promoter, Bob Arum. However, he spoke about the strong possibility of another match with Marquez.
"That’s what Bob Arum said and he'll talk with Marquez camp and we'll talk about the fourth fight," the Filipino congressman and fighter said.
When asked about a fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao seemed to change his mind since making his promotional appearances last week.
“I don't know what's the reason, but I'm ready to fight him,” Pacquiao said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel last week.
This week, Pacquiao is saying the fight would be up to his promoter.
"I really don't know but it depends on my promoter. I'm not choosing my opponent next time whatever Bob Arum gives to me I will accept that,” Pacquiao said after the fight. “Right now I'm going back to the Philippines and doing some work in the office.”
After the fight Bob Arum, said he was interested in a rematch with Arum.
“My advice to all parties is for an immediate rematch,” Arum said. “If both fighters agree, I’d like to do the rematch in May 2012.”
However, Mayweather’s camp spoke about scheduling the fight in May last week.
Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s adviser, told ESPN that after years of failed negotiations surrounding Pacquiao’s random drug testing, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is reserved for a May 5 fight between the two polarizing boxers.
"We're looking to make the biggest fight possible and everyone knows what that fight is, the little fella,” said Ellerbe.
Fighter turned promoter, Oscar De La Hoya said his company has already been instructed by Mayweather’s camp to schedule the fight with Pacquiao in May. De La Hoya told the Los Angeles Times that Pacquiao needed to make the decision to fight Mayweather for his fans.
"Mayweather wants the fight, and there's nothing that can keep this fight from happening," De La Hoya said. "My advice to Manny is, You're the fighter. You're the boss. You call the shots. Pacquiao fights for the people and the people want him to step up and fight Mayweather."
After his disappointing controversial loss to Pacquiao, Marquez seemed to have faith in Mayweather’s ability to beat his opponent.
“I think it will be a huge fight,” Marquez said. “But boxing is about styles and I think Mayweather will be very complicated for Pacquiao.”
Roach seemed to agree with the Mexican boxer, admitting that Pacquiao had some work ahead of him. After a narrow win with Marquez who is a counterpuncher, Roach said it was a weakness for his fighter.
“Mayweather is a bit of a counterpuncher also, so he can give us trouble,” Roach said. “We need to learn to deal with counterpunchers better.”