MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Council (WBC) president Don Jose Sulaiman criticized the fourth fight between rivals Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao of the Philippine and Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, calling it "a fight without importance."
Pacquiao and Marquez will fight for the fourth time on December 8 in Las Vegas. Although there are no title belts on the line, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) has created a special title for the fight and will present the winner with its “Champion of the Decade” belt.
“The fourth version of Manny Pacquiao vs Marquez is a fight without any importance, because there is no championship at stake,” Sulaiman said, as quoted by Boxing Scene.
“It is a fight that only interests those in Mexico and the Philippines, and the match is not drawing attention anywhere else in the world,” he added.
“It is a fight with only a single purpose – to fill the date and nothing more.”
Yahoo! Sports’ Paul Magno noted that Sulaiman sounded “more like a woman scorned than the head of a sanctioning body.”
Sulaiman had offered to put up the WBC’s “Diamond” belt at stake in the bout, but it was the WBO who wound up sanctioning the fight and getting the sanctioning fee.
According to Magno, the sanctioning fee is “a substantial amount of money” that could amount to a “seven-figure payday” for the WBO.
“It was certainly enough money to set off the WBC’s Sulaiman and kill all semblance of diplomacy from the 81-year-old,” he wrote.
Magno also notes that Sulaiman’s rant against the Pacquiao-Marquez bout “should surprise no one who follows the sport.”