MANILA, Philippines - With Manny Pacquiao declaring he’s not through fighting, it appears likely there will be a fifth bout against Juan Manuel Marquez, sooner or later. Top Rank chairman Bob Arum is conjuring visions of another blockbuster with Pacquiao out to avenge his knockout loss in Las Vegas last weekend.
Pacquiao turns 34 on Monday while Marquez isn’t getting any younger at 39. In a long career that began in 1993, the Mexican has logged 462 rounds compared to 371 for Pacquiao so the mileage is due to take a toll, regardless of whatever juice is in his system. Neither fighter is thinking of hanging up the gloves anytime soon. “I’m not thinking about retirement,” said Marquez, quoted by Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m thinking about giving the fans a great fight, with all my sweat, blood, guts and heart. The way I feel right now, I don’t think I’ll stop.”
Pacquiao has signed a one-year extension of his Top Rank contract up to December 2014 and the plan is to do four more fights. Asked how much longer he’d like to fight by Jeremy Schaap in ESPN The Magazine, Pacquiao replied, “It’s hard to say - 36.” The speculation is after Pacquiao wins a second term as Congressman next May, he will run for Senator in 2016.
If ever there is a Pacquiao-Marquez V, it won’t be the first time a quintology involves a Filipino fighter. Flash Elorde and Japan’s Teruo Kosaka engaged in five bouts from 1961 to 1965. In their first meeting, Elorde floored Kosaka once en route to a win by unanimous decision at Rizal Memorial. A year later, Kosaka beat Elorde on a split 12-round decision to wrest the Oriental lightweight crown in Tokyo with referee Nick Pope scoring it 57-56, judge Kuniharu Hayashi, 58-57, both for the Japanese, and judge Eugenio Puyat a lopsided 59-46 for the Filipino. In August 1962, Elorde outpointed Kosaka in Cebu to regain the Oriental diadem. Two years later, Elorde halted Kosaka in the 12th round to retain his world junior lightweight title, triggering a riot in Tokyo. Kosaka was ahead on two of the three judges scorecards when Elorde floored the challenger, prompting what seemed to be a premature stoppage by Filipino referee Jose Padilla. In January 1965, Elorde decked Kosaka five times and scored a 15th round knockout at the Araneta Coliseum to end the quintology with a firm closure.
Feuds aren’t rare in boxing history and rivalries have extended to as long as 20 fights in the case of Ted (Kid) Lewis against Jack Britton who battled each other in 12 cities over five years. The welterweights fought in the 1920s with Britton claiming four wins, Lewis three, one a draw and 12 no-decisions. Two rivalries that went six fights were Sugar Ray Robinson against Jake LaMotta and Henry Armstrong against Baby Arizmendi. The Robinson-LaMotta duel began in 1942 and ended in 1951 with the Sugarman winning five, four on points, and LaMotta once. Armstrong and Arizmendi were popular West Coast figures in the 1930s. Arizmendi won the first three bouts and lost the next three. Armstrong had the final say, decisioning Arizmendi to retain his world welterweight crown in Los Angeles in 1939.
When Pacquiao and Marquez met for the first time as featherweights in 2004, they battled to a split draw. Pacquiao earned $650,000 and Marquez $500,000. Last weekend, in their fourth encounter, the Filipino was guaranteed $25 Million and Marquez $5 Million with pay-per-view receipts expected to deliver at least $3 Million each. At the weigh-in, Marquez scaled 143 and Pacquiao, 147. When they climbed the ring, Pacquiao was 151 and Marquez 148.
From their first bout, Arum saw the birth of a ring rivalry to duplicate or even surpass the bad-blood ferocity of such feuds as Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier, Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales, Mickey Ward-Arturo Gatti, Sugar Ray Leonard-Tommy Hearns, Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano and Sandy Saddler-Willie Pep. “These guys don’t know how not to do great fights,” said Arum referring to Pacquiao and Marquez, quoted by Ivan Goldman.