MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fight king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao may be headed for a fourth encounter against his great rival Juan Manuel Marquez after his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, revealed he is working on the contract details of the fight.
In an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Arum said he is hoping to reach a deal for a fourth Pacquiao-Marquez fight, which will take place on December 8.
"We are hopeful we can work out deals with both guys and come to terms for a fight on December 8," Arum said.
But the Top Rank chief executive maintained that no deal has been finalized so far.
Pacquiao was originally set to make his ring return on November 10 after losing via a controversial split decision to American fighter Timothy Bradley Jr. earlier this June.
The Filipino boxer was choosing among rematches with Bradley, Marquez and Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao's fight date was eventually pushed back to December 1, and then to December 8 when it was revealed that Cotto had turned down a fight against the "Pacman."
There have been numerous reports over the past few weeks that Pacquiao had opted for a fourth fight against Marquez rather than face Bradley in a rematch, but his advisor, Michael Koncz, told Yahoo! Sports that the Filipino has not yet chosen an opponent.
"We're still looking at both guys and we haven’t decided to go with Marquez," Koncz said. "We just have been talking about both guys and today we happened to discuss a purse for Marquez."
But Koncz refused to give more details, saying he will only talk about the fight once a deal has been signed.
Pacquiao and Marquez have fought three times, first in 2004 when they battled to a draw even though Pacquiao knocked down Marquez thrice in the opening round. Their 2008 rematch went in Pacquiao's favor via split decision.
Their latest encounter last November 2011 ended in Pacquiao's favor again as the Filipino won via majority decision, but many fans and boxing observers felt Marquez was the better fighter that night.
A fourth bout against Marquez is expected to be a better box-office draw than a rematch with Bradley. Pacquiao's loss to Bradley brought in less than a million pay-per-view buys, a disappointing figure for the Filipino fighter and his team.