Most fight fans are keen on seeing if Manny Pacquiao can bounce back from the KO loss to rival-for-the-ages Juan Manuel Marquez last December. But that fifth scrap between the Congressman and the Mexican counter-punching ace hinges on Marquez. He's either negotiating skillfully, and actually wants the tussle, while pretending to be uninterested, or is truly set on conquering other territory. I asked Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach if he thinks we'll see Pacquiao-Marquez 5, in September.
"My gut instinct on what is next? I want it to be Marquez, Manny wants Marquez, but Marquez wants a lot, lot, lot of money," Roach (seen with Pacquiao in above Chris Farina-Top Rank photo, before the fourth bout) told me. "I think it's a little outrageous. It may not happen. We might have to go to Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios or a Tim Bradley rematch could be made. I want Marquez right away, Manny and I both want it. But Marquez wants just about a 50-50 split. Manny brings butts in seats, pay-per-view-wise, Manny is the guy. Obviously Manny deserves more. I think a rematch will make a lot more money than the last fight. I think both sides can ask for more and Marquez deserves something, but not 50-50."
The fourth fight between the rivals did about 1.15 million buys on HBO Pay-Per-View, generating around $70 million in revenue. Pacquiao became the first boxer to do more than a million buys a year for five straight years, beating Mike Tyson.
Does Roach think its Marquez' ego growing larger is he playing negotiating mega-hardball? "They're both at the end of their careers, they want as much as possible, you can't blame them. But where else will Bradley get that kind of money? Nobody else in the world...Does he have any other place to go? For a Tim Bradley fight he'd get two million at the most."
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV