Post-fight wrap from Juan Manuel Marquez's victory
Last year, Manny Pacquiao's team expressed frustration that Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced his opponent in a "retirement" comeback just before Pacquiao trounced Ricky Hatton with a second-round knockout.
"He couldn't have waited a few more hours?" Pacquiao's manager asked, implying Mayweather didn't want to risk having an obvious bout waiting for him that he would decline to take.
Now, Pacquiao's team has repeated Mayweather's ploy.
Instead of waiting to see how Pacquiao's rival Juan Manuel Marquez fared in Saturday night's world lightweight title defense against Juan Diaz, Team Pacquiao agreed last week to fight Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13.
They couldn't have waited a few more hours?
They could have, of course. Margarito's not even licensed to fight in the U.S. following his 2009 hand-wraps scandal, and his case won't be heard until Aug. 18.
And Pacquiao and Marquez already have staged two classics, the 2004 draw in which Marquez rallied from three first-round knockdowns to nearly beat the world's current top boxer, and a Pacquiao 2008 split-decision triumph.
Like Marquez's promoter, Richard Schaefer, said late Saturday night after Marquez dominated Diaz in a unanimous decision that showcased his resolve, toughness and interest in engaging action, "Marquez is ready, willing and licensed. MGM would love this fight, Nevada would love this fight. To see a third Pacquiao-Marquez fight would be a dream come true. No matter what you say, there's unfinished business there."
Marquez let his intentions be known after the fight at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas: "I'm right here, no hiding, no running," he said, a shot at Mayweather. Pacquiao "needs a fighter that can beat him. I'm right here."
Since Pacquiao is expected to follow through with Margarito, probably in Las Vegas or outside Dallas, Marquez has to consider other options, and the next-best foe could be junior-welterweight world champion Amir Khan of England.
"It'd be a dangerous fight, but I have the style and speed to beat him," Khan said of Marquez. "I know he wants to become the first Mexican fighter to win titles in four divisions. I've told [promoter] Golden Boy I want a good name, and Marquez is a good name."
Khan said he'll next fight Dec. 11, either in the United Kingdom or Las Vegas.
-- Diaz, who's lost four of his last six fights, sounded as if he'd seriously consider retirement after the bout. "I'll look at my options," he said.
-- Mexico's popular young fighter Saul Alvarez will fight former world welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir Sept. 18 on the undercard of the Shane Mosley-Sergio Mora main event at Staples Center, Schaefer told The Times.
-- Should Marquez leave the lightweight division, expect Gilroy's Robert Guerrero to have a bout with Michael Katsidis to claim one of the vacant belts. Guerrero defeated Joel Casamayor on Saturday night, and a bout with Katsidis previously had been finalized but was canceled when Guerrero's wife, Casey, had to battle through a bone-marrow transplant earlier this year in her fight against leukemia.
-- Lance Pugmire