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Juan Manuel Marquez expected at weigh-in, and as Pacquiao's next foe?

May 6, 2011 |  2:10 pm

Lcf8ginc Fight promoter Top Rank is expecting a visit from world lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez at its 3 p.m. weigh-in Friday for the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight.

It's significant because it will be Marquez's first public step away from Top Rank's rival promoter, Golden Boy in Los Angeles, and because of the Mexican fighter's strong position to be Pacquiao's next opponent in November. [Updated 2:29 p.m. May 6: The date of the potential fight would be Nov. 12.]

Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said Thursday night he believes Marquez is the front-runner to next fight Pacquiao, as long as the Filipino star does as expected Saturday and defeats 8-to-1 underdog Mosley at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

Arum said a third Pacquiao-Marquez bout could be fought either in Las Vegas, or back at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, where Pacquiao fought twice in 2010.

Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs) fought Pacquiao to a 2004 draw as featherweights, and then dropped a narrow split decision in a 2008 super-featherweight meeting.

As Pacquiao has proceeded to overwhelming triumphs against the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Antonio Margarito since, a nagging question has been his inability to return to the man who has given him such difficult tests.

Arum said Thursday he's willing to have a 144-pound weight limit for the welterweight title fight. As the 135-pound lightweight champ, Marquez, who turns 38 in August, previously was overwhelmed when he tried moving up in weight to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Golden Boy Chief Executive Richard Schaefer has said his company still has the right to attempt to match any offer Marquez receives for a fight through next year, but matching Pacquiao money will be quite a challenge, so Top Rank officials say they are confident Marquez can jump ship.

Schaefer said Friday perhaps "a fight against [Saul] 'Canelo' Alvarez," could generate the money Marquez will be offered by Top Rank.


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-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Juan Manuel Marquez. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters