After winning a tough, knockdown, drag-out affair with Mike Alvarado on Saturday night, Juan Manuel Marquez is set up to take on Manny Pacquiao for a fifth time—if he wants to.
The winner of the Marquez-Alvarado bout was set to be the mandatory challenger for Pacquiao, who won the WBO welterweight title when he defeated Timothy Bradley in April.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum confirmed this per Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole:
Who wants to see a fifth fight between Marquez and Pacquiao? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some wouldn't mind seeing the two warriors slug it out again.
Others want to remember it as a great rivalry, but would like to move on to something different.
When Marquez was asked if he'd take Arum up on his offer and fight Pacquiao for a fifth time, per Top Rank Boxing on Twitter, he was non-committal.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix thinks Marquez is simply trying to build anticipation for the bout.
The fact of the matter is, with the Golden Boy-Top Rank issues alive and well, it may be the best fight either man can get.
There's plenty of potentially exciting fighters on the Golden Boy side, but with Marquez linked with HBO, and GBP locked to Showtime, it doesn't seem possible at this time.
At 40 years old, Marquez has to be thinking about who his final opponent(s) will be.
Here's a short list of potential opponents for Marquez—other than Pacquiao.
Per Elie Seckbach of ESNews, Rios is looking to make a comeback after his loss to Pacquiao. Marquez is the man he's calling out.
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This could be another slugfest similar to the one that took place on Saturday night.
However, if Alvarado couldn't solve Marquez, it stands to reason Rios wouldn't have any better luck. But you never know considering Marquez's age. Every time he fights, he's running the risk of getting old before our very eyes.
The hard-hitting Siberian stopped Alvarado to win the WBO light welterweight title in October of 2013.
He's a former sparring partner of Pacquiao, and he fights an action-packed, crowd-pleasing style.
All of those things make him an attractive opponent for Marquez.
Provodnikov does have a fight scheduled for June against Chris Algieri. Assuming Provodnikov wins, he's got to be at least under consideration as a potential opponent for Marquez.
After winning the IBO and WBA light welterweight titles from Khabib Allakhverdiev in April, Vargas should be a popular name for fighters in the weight region.
Vargas isn't a big name. Though he has some speed, he'd probably be the easiest fight of anyone on this list for Marquez.
It's questionable whether Vargas' name could draw the interest to make the fight worth Marquez's time.
Marquez lost a split-decision to Bradley in October of 2013. He could look to avenge the defeat. Bradley needs an opponent after his loss to Pacquiao left him in limbo and without direction for his immediate future.
Though both are household names, matched together, Bradley and Marquez may not interest many fight fans.
This is perhaps the least desirable fight for Marquez. He'd likely be out-boxed and frustrated again by Bradley's speed.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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