Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 | 11:19 p.m.
From the bottom of his heart, Juan Manuel Marquez believes he’s beaten Manny Pacquiao twice.
But that will never be enough to the future hall of famer until three judges sitting ringside agree with him.
Just moments after turning in another terrific performance, stopping Michael Katsidis in the ninth round of their lightweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO) emerged at the post-fight press conference wearing a shirt that proudly declared, “Marquez beat Pacquiao twice.”
He then made his case for a chance to do it again.
“It’s very clear I want to fight Pacquiao,” Marquez said. “I’ll consider any fighter if it’s not Pacquiao, but I feel I deserve to fight in the big fights.
“I feel like a broken record, but Pacquiao, Pacquiao, Pacquiao.”
Marquez and Pacquiao already have met in the boxing ring twice. Both times, Marquez left without his hand being raised.
The first meeting occurred at the MGM in 2004 and ended in a draw, despite Marquez being knocked down three times in the first round.
A rematch four years later at Mandalay Bay proved to be just as close, with Pacquiao slightly edging Marquez in a controversial split decision.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer remembers sitting ringside that night and complaining about the results to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who represents Pacquiao.
According to Schaefer, the prospect of a third meeting between the two fighters was brought up immediately, however, talks have since stalled.
“I remember I was upset about the results,” Schaefer said. “Arum was there and I was asking for the rematch and he said, ‘it will happen, but these things need time to mature.’
“Well, I think it’s matured and the time is now to get this fight done. I realize everyone wants to see (Floyd) Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. But if that fight is not going to happen now, then first things first. I think Juan Manuel Marquez should get the fight.”
Although there had been little interest expressed by Top Rank and Pacquiao for a third fight with Marquez, that appeared to change as of late.
The Filipino fighter went on record to say he would take the fight, but doesn’t believe it’s a matchup boxing fans truly want to see.
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, went on to say in reports that if a fight were to take place, it would have to be at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds — a number much heavier than Marquez’s ideal weight.
The demand by Roach would seem to be a fair one, if it weren’t for the fact that 147 pounds is presumably above Pacquiao’s comfortable weight as well. In a 150-pound catchweight bout against Antonio Margarito earlier this month, Pacquiao weighed in at just 144.5 pounds.
At the post-fight press conference, Marquez addressed the issue and said if Roach and Pacquiao refused to come down, it would only be an excuse.
“Let’s face it, (Pacquiao) has never made 147 pounds,” Marquez said. “He’s fought at welterweight but only weighed in at 145 or 144 pounds. It’s just an excuse to get away from the fight.”
The two previous meetings between the two boxers were held at featherweight and super featherweight.
The Pacquiao ordeal overshadowed a terrific performance by Marquez, who out-landed Katsidis, 327 punches to 194, according to ringside stats.
Despite the fact the end of the fight could have been controversial — referee Kenny Bayless was quick to stop the action even though Katsidis never hit the floor — the damage Marquez caused was so convincing that no one seemed to care.
It was only the second time in Katsidis’s nine-year career he’s been stopped.
“I think the referee did a good job,” Marquez said. “(Katsidis) wasn’t throwing back the entire round. I was landing all my punches.”
Marquez now will hope the verbal punches he’s thrown will hit their mark on Pacquiao.
Whether Pacquiao harbors a secret agreement that Marquez won their first two fights, the sight of a T-shirt proclaiming so is likely something that will get his attention.
“That’s why I want the third fight,” Marquez said. “I thought I won the first fight and the second one as well — clearly.”