Juan Manuel Marquez set to sign contract vs. Pacquiao

source: Nick Giongco | mb.com.ph

LOS ANGELES — Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez is due anytime here to finalize the contract for his planned Nov. 12 rubber match with Filipino star Manny Pacquiao.

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said on Monday that Marquez is arriving with his lawyer to have the contract for the Pacquiao fight signed after Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) did not match Top Rank’s offersheet.

Marquez had given GBP to match Top Rank’s mouth-watering offer until Monday afternoon and the Oscar De La Hoya-owned outfit apparently was unable to make a counter-offer that would keep Marquez from going elsewhere.

Arum had dangled an offer that would guarantee Marquez a $5-million purse plus a share in the pay-per-view and other revenue-making schemes. And in the event Marquez prevails, he will get a paycheck of $10 million plus an upside in the fourth fight with Pacquiao.

“I believe so,” said Arum when asked if GBP had indeed failed to make an offer to the 37-year-old Marquez, best remembered by fight fans as the crafty and courageous puncher who gave Pacquiao a taste of hell in two fights.

“Marquez is on his way here (to the US),” said the 79-year-old Arum, adding that the fighter will be accompanied by his Spanish-speaking American lawyer.

Marquez got up from three knockdowns in the first round to force a 12-round split draw with Pacquiao the first time they squared off in May 2004 when they were still featherweights (126 lbs). In the rematch in March 2008, Pacquiao had to walk the tightrope again en route to a 12-round split decision victory when they were campaigning as super-feathers (130 lbs).

On both occasions, Marquez said he had been robbed of the decision, a bold claim that has the backing of some jaded observers of the sport.

Should everything falls into place, the third Pacquiao-Marquez bout will be fought at a catch weight of 144 lbs, which is actually in the welterweight class.

While Pacquiao has flourished at this weight class, Marquez had an unforgettable stint as a welterweight, having been outclassed and overpowered by Floyd Mayweather in their 2009 clash.

STATUE FOR PACQUIAO

Meanwhile, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Monico Puentevella yesterday urged the government to build a statue for pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao to honor his legendary efforts for putting the country in the world boxing map.

The former Congressman from Bacolod City said it's about time that the boxing icon should be given this kind of honor as a symbol of excellence and inspiration to the Filipino people.

"He is a boxing legend, an icon that will probably can’t be replicated in the next century," Puentevella said in the PSA Forum at Shakey's UN Avenue. "Walang hindi nakakakilala kay Pacquiao sa mga ipinanalo niyang laban sa boxing."

The idea, Puentevella added, was based from several known athletes in the United States who were also given statues in different places like basketball superstar Michael Jordan in Chicago, boxer Oscar Dela Hoya in Staples Center, and boxing champ Joe Louis in his hometown in Alabama, to name a few. (With a reports from Kristel Satumbaga)


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