PACQUIAO-MORALES  REMATCH  IN  JEOPARDY

MANILA, April 27, 2005 
(STAR) Legal wranglings in his camp could stymie Manny Pacquiao’s bid for a possible September rematch with Mexican champ Erik Morales, who beat him in their recent super featherweight fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

According to the LA Daily News, the litigation between Pacquiao, his new manager Shelly Finkel, and promoter Murad Muhammad, has threatened the Filipino ring idol’s short-term ring involvement.

HBO hoped to have Pacquiao fight on the Sep. 10 card, setting up a potential Pacquiao-Morales rematch. Morales is scheduled to defend his WBC super featherweight title that night, the Daily News added.

However, as Pacquiao and Finkel are embroiled in an attempt to cut ties with Muhammad, Pacquiao may not be able to fight for some time.

Actually, Morales, the former three-time world champion, has signified his intention to move up to the heavier lightweight division, prompting Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach to hint at pushing for a rematch instead with Marco Antonio Barrera.

Pacquiao, 26, whipped Barrera in a convincing 11-round TKO win two years ago — a victory that catapulted him to worldwide fame. But the General Santos native failed to firm up his claim as one of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxers as he settled for a controversial split draw with Juan Manuel Marquez before bowing to Morales last March.

Meanwhile, Marquez will defend his WBA and IBF featherweight titles against Victor Polo on May 7. The Marquez title defense is on the undercard of the highly-anticipated lightweight unification showdown between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales.

Should Marquez defeat Polo, Marquez and Morales could end up fighting each other in December, according to Bob Arum.

"If they both win, then we would match them in a very attractive pay-per-view card in December," said Arum of Morales and Marquez.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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