MANILA, Philippines – Boxing promoter Bob Arum clarified that the winner between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado won’t be forced to fight Manny Pacquiao.
The Marquez-Alvarado tiff was set as an eliminator for a WBO welterweight title shot against Pacquiao, but the Top Rank Inc. executive assured that it would really be up to the winner if they want to go after the Filipino champion.
"There is nothing contractual with the two fighters that are fighting Saturday (Sunday in Manila), but they know I will offer the winner a fight with Manny and it's up to the winner to accept or reject it," Arum said in World Boxing News.
Arum said the fighting congressman would be willing to face the victor, especially if it turns out to be Marquez. Pacquiao is very much interested to avenge his 2012 knockout loss to the Mexican.
The two fighters have already fought four times, which is why Marquez initially declined another rematch. But after Pacquiao won the WBO welterweight belt from Timothy Bradley, the Mexican changed his stance regarding the possible fifth bout.
“"he first thing I did was talk to Manny and he is up to fight the winner," said Arum.
"If I hear that the winner will be interested in fighting Manny in the fall, and Manny has agreed to fight the winner, so I would say that once we got the terms straightened out it would be a done deal."
Alvarado, for his part, said that fighting Pacquiao is his main goal. But he's got to take care of Marquez first, he said.
"That's huge, that's the goal," Alvarado said in an interview with ES News regarding the prospect of winning the Pacquiao sweepstakes. "But right now I got Marquez..