MANILA, Philippines - Emmanuel Steward, the trainer of champions, can also be a good matchmaker.
The 56-year-old Hall of Famer on Tuesday said Juan Manuel Marquez, and not Shane Mosley, will provide the best fight for Manny Pacquiao in case Floyd Mayweather becomes, as expected, unavailable.
The search is on for Pacquiao’s next opponent, sometime in May if things fall into place, and in the early hunt are Mosley and Marquez, both 37 years old, Andre Berto, and of course, Mayweather.
But the superfight against the undefeated American, who’s facing a court trial in January for felony and robbery charges, may not happen early next year, creating a scramble for Pacquiao’s next foe.
Steward, who once had Thomas Hearns, Oscar dela Hoya, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Julio Cesar Chavez under his wings, said Marquez should be the wise choice.
However, Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, thinks it should be Mosley, who can bring more to the table in terms of pay-per-view attraction.
“I just don’t think the public is going to buy Manny against Shane Mosley right now, not after they saw Shane against Floyd Mayweather and then (Sergio) Mora,” Steward said.
Steward spoke by phone to Michael Marley of The Examiner from Austria where he’s training world champion Wladimir Klitschko for his heavyweight clash with Derek Chisora on Dec. 11.
“Manny and Marquez is a big fight now, right now. I believe both Pacquiao and Marquez are their plateaus, at their fighting best, now which should make for a great third fight. If they can’t get together and make Mayweather-Pacquiao, then this is the fight that should be made next for Manny.”
Steward, who loves training champion as much as he loves his Rolls Royce collection, said weight shouldn’t be a problem in making the third Pacquiao-Marquez fight happen.
“I think you see Marquez walking around about 138-139 pounds even though he can be 135 pounds two weeks before a fight and then weigh in at 133,” Steward said.
“As for Manny, he was only 144 1/2 the day before the (Antonio) Margarito bout so they can work that out. Marquez and Manny both have something to prove, something they can only prove against each other,” he added.
Notes: Manny Pacquiao’s lawyer in the United States, Lee Veness, has asked the Texas court to dismiss the $1.8 million lawsuit filed by Edmundo Lozana, a Mexican-American promoter and not a Filipino as earlier reported. The case stemmed from Pacquiao’s alleged failure to honor a $100,000 contract for him to make a promotional appearance in Texas last September. Pacquiao’s lawyer spoke to Balitang America saying that the temporary restraining order, wherein the court had asked that $1.5 million of Pacquaio’s earnings in his fight against Antonio Margarito be held back, had already expired.