• Welterweight

Marquez ready to step aside for Mayweather-Pacquiao

ESPN staff
December 30, 2011
Floyd Mayweather Jnr begins a 90-day jail term in January © PA Photos

Juan Manuel Marquez says his fourth meeting with Manny Pacquiao may take place in November 2012, leaving Pacquiao free to face Floyd Mayweather Jnr during May.

Pacquiao has beaten Marquez in two of their previous three meetings - the other was a draw - but none of his victories have been comprehensive, and many observers felt he deserved to lose the most recent fight, which took place during November.

For that reason, another battle between the old rivals became inevitable. It looked set to take place in early 2012, with Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum known to be keen on the idea, but Mayweather's declaration that he wants to fight in May complicated matters.

Now Marquez says he is willing to forget about the May date, as long as his fight with Pacquiao happens later in the year.

"So far I do not know if it will happen in May or all the way in November. If [the Pacquiao fight] is not made soon, then I [will] look for another great opportunity, like Timothy Bradley, the WBO's light-welterweight champion," Marquez told boxingscene.com.

Negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao are believed to have commenced, although there have been conflicting messages from both camps. In January Mayweather will begin a 90-day jail term on domestic violence charges, which threatens to derail any talks.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.