Marquez's Victory Keeps Boxer In Pacquiao Game


Juan Manuel Marquez scored a unanimous decision over Juan Diaz on July 31, keeping alive his hopes for a third bout against Manny Pacquiao.
Marquez defeated Diaz at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Saturday night by the counts of 116-112 , 117-111 and 118-110 to retain his WBO and WBA lightweight titles in a rematch of their Feb. 2009 donnybrook. The Associated Press also scored it 118-110 for the champion. HBO PPV televised the card.
The decisive win perhaps gives the 37-year-old Mexican (51-5-1, 37 KOs) ground to stand on for a third try against Pacquiao. Their early meetings resulted in a draw in 2004 and a split-decision triumph for the Filipino in their rematch on March 15 2008, which drew some 400,000 PPV buys. Marquez was soundly beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 19, 2009, a fight that generated 1.05 million buys.
After the contest, Marquez said he wanted to do battle again with Pacquiao and that he would be ready in November. According to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, Pacquiao, though, reportedly has a bout set with Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13, with HBO Pay-Per-View set to provide the action. However, a site for the would-be Pacquiao-Margarito bout has not been set and HBO has yet to confirm the card.
The fight boxing fans and PPV distributors want to see -- Pacquiao-Mayweather -- has not yet materialized after blowing up early in the year over drug testing and other issues.