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Marquez commits to third Pacquiao fight

ESPN staff
May 18, 2011

Juan Manuel Marquez has agreed a deal with promoters Top Rank to fight Manny Pacquiao for a third time in Las Vegas on November 12.

While Pacquiao still needs to negotiate terms for his side of a deal, Marquez has agreed to fight for Pacquiao's welterweight title at a compromise weight of 144lbs - three below the weight class limit, but still significantly above the lightweight's usual 135lb mark.

Marquez will reportedly receive $5 million in guaranteed money, a portion of the pay-per-view receipts and a guaranteed $10 million plus in various options in case of a rematch, which would be triggered in the event he wins.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum is confident a deal will now be done with Pacquiao, having persuaded the Eagles to re-arrange a tour date at the MGM Grand in order to free up the venue for a November 12 encounter. But he will still need to speak to Pacquiao's advisers, including Michael Koncz, to get the contest formally sewn up.

"Marquez is definitely the frontrunner we're looking at, but I have not yet sat down with Bob to discuss our financial deal," Koncz confirmed ESPN. "Bob and I will do that this week before I leave to go see Manny in the Philippines on Sunday.

"I'll talk with Bob and see what his offer for Manny's purse is and all the other things involved, and then I will take that to Manny. I have the parameters from Manny, but Bob and I have not yet had a meeting of the minds.

"Bob has one component for the fight, but he needs two. We have not agreed to the fight or the terms, but we are certainly discussing it. We've always been able to come to an agreement."

A third fight with Marquez always looked likely, with the two viable alternatives for the Filipino not fitting the bill - Timothy Bradley because of current contract issues and Zab Judah because of questions about his pedigree and box office draw.

"Bradley I cannot talk to because he is still under contract to Gary Shaw, even if he is unhappy," Arum said. "His contract allegedly runs out at a certain point soon, but not yet. So I'm not going to go there.

"I could make a deal with [Main Events promoter] Kathy Duva for a Judah fight in five minutes, but that is not my plan. If [Pacquiao] wants to explore Judah, I'll explore Judah."

Marquez and Pacquiao have previously fought two highly-disputed contests, at featherweight in 2004 and junior lightweight four years late. The first clash was drawn, with the second taken by Pacquiao in a split decision.

Koncz believes they are just two fighters whose styles mesh perfectly.

"It's the same old story -- styles make fights, and, for some reason, I believe if we fight Marquez 10 times, we will have controversy 10 times because he's figured something out about Manny that no other fighter can do," he said. "We've had him down three times, but he's able to adapt and adjust.

"I think it will be a very close fight again if we decide to pick that fight. The question is, what is Manny's monetary reward?"

Marquez's deal allows him one warm-up fight prior to July 17, which is likely to be against former lightweight titlist David Diaz - who lost his crown to Pacquiao in 2008.

His only prior welterweight fight came in a lopsided points defeat against Floyd Mayweather Jnr in 2009.

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