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Is Mayweather finally next for Pacquiao?

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Juan Manuel Marquez pose

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Juan Manuel Marquez pose for photos during a news conference in Las Vegas. (Dec. 5, 2012) (Credit: AP)

How important is Saturday’s fight against Juan Manuel Marquez to Manny Pacquiao? It’s of the utmost importance if Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights twice in 2013 like his advisor Leonard Ellerbe said.

Despite winning a close decision against Marquez in their third bout last November and a controversial loss to Tim Bradley on June 9, a big-money fight against Mayweather will still be on the table next spring or fall if Pacquiao wins.

"Floyd has told us that he is fighting twice in 2013 with the first date being May 4 –Cinco De Mayweather– and the second date being Sept. 14," Ellerbe told

But Pacquiao has been saying all along he is focused on Marquez. Pacquiao wants to prove once and for all that he is the better man. There are many who believe Marquez won at least two of their three bouts.

“I am giving him a chance to prove he can win the fight because he thought he has won all three and he keeps talking about it,” Pacquiao said during a conference call. “So it is very important to me, to win this fight, especially since Márquez really wanted this fight.”

Pacquiao and Marquez will square off on Saturday, December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View.

The danger for Pacquiao is that he loses to Marquez. Even with a loss a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in 2013 could happen, but some of the buzz would likely be diminished. Win or lose against Marquez, Pacquiao already has plans for 2013.

“Yes, I will continue to fight through next year,” Pacquiao said when asked if he would fight even if Mayweather isn’t available.

Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) last fought on May 5, earning a unanimous-decision win over Miguel Cotto in a 154-pound title fight. He later served a two-month prison term on a domestic abuse charge.

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