MANILA, Philippines – Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez insists he does not want to fight rival Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines for a fifth time, preferring instead to pursue a world championship in a fifth different weight division.
After settling for a draw in their first fight then losing controversial decisions in their next two meetings, Marquez finally, decisively defeated Pacquiao in their fourth fight last December.
The Mexican “Dinamita” knocked out the Filipino icon with just a second to go in the sixth round, in a fight that earned “Fight of the Year” honors from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
But despite a demand for a fifth fight, Marquez has repeatedly said that he does not want to fight Pacquiao again, even as he faces pressure from promoters.
“I am not a puppet for anybody. I will not allow myself to move forward based on what a promoter or other people say,” Marquez said in an interview with Boxing Scene.
He stressed that while he has yet to decide on his boxing future, he is motivated by the thought of another title in a different weight class.
“My decision is firm: If it is no, then it is no, and if it is yes, then it is yes,” Marquez said, adding that his family has “the last word” on his boxing future.
“The surest thing is that there will not be a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao, and yes, there will be a (fight for a) fifth championship,” he added.
There were no belts on the line when Pacquiao and Marquez fought last December, which was the first time they faced off at the welterweight division.
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) has won championships at the featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and light-welterweight divisions.
He is targeting a world title at welterweight and welcomes a fight against unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr., who holds the World Boxing Organization title.
“It motivates me more to look for a fifth divisional championship. I believe that any sportsman or professional wants to achieve certain goals, and that’s why another belt inspires me more,” Marquez explained.
“And what’s better than facing an opponent, who for me is a great fighter, tough and difficult, like Timothy Bradley?” he added.
Bradley is also open to a potential fight with Marquez, and the American’s trainer, Joel Diaz, is already considering a possible game plan.
“I can make (Bradley) fight like (Floyd) Mayweather when it comes to Marquez,” Diaz said.
Pacquiao, for his part, recently confirmed that he will return to the boxing ring on September, but has yet to discuss the specifics with his promoters at Top Rank.