Fresh from his conquest of Juan Diaz, Juan Manuel Marquez has picked arch-nemesis Manny Pacquiao to prevail over Ricky Hatton in their upcoming collision in May.
"Manny Pacquiao has bigger chances to win," said Diaz in an interview with a leading Manila daily. He adds that while he did not expect Pacquaio to be a huge favorite, "he is faster than Hatton who just fights frontal."
Marquez, after-all, is one who is well acquainted with Pacquiao's speed and overall fighting style so to speak.
Apart from a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Marquez says he is also considering a showdown with the winner of the Pacman-Hitman tiff. "Now I can move on to 140 and fight either Hatton or Pacquiao," he said.
Marquez solidified his hold on the No. 2 spot in the pound for pound rankings with his clinical demolition of Diaz. A very close decision (one point on a judge’s scorecard) is what separates him from Pacquiao.
It is, of course, in Marquez’s best interest for Pacquiao to win over Hatton. A win by the Hitman will show that Pacquiao is not invincible. This, in effect, shows that Hatton can do what Marquez failed to accomplish. A convincing Pacquiao win, on the other hand, will boost Marquez stock without him having to lift a finger.
If Mayweather refuses to be lured out of retirement to face Pacman, should he win over Hatton, a fight with Marquez at 140 would be a logical alternative to once and for all settle the score.
But then again, for Marquez, there looms a sword over his head that may taint his greatness—a fairly recent loss to featherweight champion Chris John. Perhaps he should first avenge this defeat, which some say is at best, questionable, ( I have not seen the fight) before calling out Pacquiao.
If Marquez beats Pacquiao without facing John and winning, he will lay claim to a half baked best pound for pound title as he was beaten by an active fighter who is nowhere near the top ten pound for pound rankings.
Pacquiao’s only recent loss was to Erik Morales. He avenged that twice over in convincing fashion. The two other losses were early on in his career to fighters who have seen better days.
To be the P4P best, Marquez does not only need to beat Pacquiao. He must first settle the score with Chris John.