LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao relishes the idea of facing his Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez for the fifth time.
Fresh from exacting payback against Tim Bradley in Las Vegas, Pacquiao told a handful of Manila-based scribes that he doesn’t see any problems getting it on with the master counter-puncher provided that he wins against Denver slugger Mike Alvardo on May 17.
“Yes, no problem fighting Marquez but he has to win first,” said Pacquiao, whose rematch with Bradley was hyped as an eliminator.
The Marquez-Alvarado duel will be staged at The Forum in neighboring Inglewood and like the Paquiao-Bradley clash, Top Rank big boss Bob Arum has openly stated that the winner will be matched with Pacquiao in November.
But Marquez, who turns 41 in August, has a tough assignment against Alvarado since he will be colliding with a much younger rival, who is just 33.
Marquez has a record of 55-7-1 with 40 KOs and should be slightly favored to repulse Alvarado, who parades a 34-2-0 slate with 22 KOs, but he is coming off a loss to Bradley.
Even Top Rank’s ace Spanish-speaking publicist Ricardo Jimenez believes Marquez could be in for a rough night.
“You’ll never know what happens when an aggressive and young fighter like Alvarado could do against Marquez. He (Marquez) might get older overnight,” said Jimenez recently in Las Vegas.
While Pacquiao doesn’t see any worries squaring off with Marquez, the Mexican seems to be uninterested since he said that there no point in a fifth fight taking place since he had scored a definitive sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao in 2012.
But since Pacquiao still holds a 2-1-1 (win-loss-draw) edge in his head-to-head with Marquez, many people would like to see them get it on again. Besides, before Marquez knocked out Pacquiao, he was starting to slow down.