MANILA, Philippines – Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez has fired back at World Boxing Council (WBC) president Don Jose Sulaiman, after the boxing executive disparaged Marquez's upcoming bout against Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.
"I refused to fight for the (WBC) diamond belt. It's worth it if you want to (be) categorized as champion, but being the best of a division is what counts," Marquez told Boxing Scene.
Sulaiman was earlier quoted as saying that the fourth Pacquiao-Marquez fight "is a fight without any importance, because there is no championship at stake."
"It is a fight that only interests those in Mexico and the Philippines, and the match is not drawing attention anywhere else in the world," he added.
Sulaiman had offered to put the WBC's "Diamond" belt at stake in the bout, but it was the World Boxing Organization (WBO) who wound up sanctioning the fight. The WBO created a special "Champion of the Decade" title just for the Pacquiao-Marquez tussle.
But Marquez said he was not concerned about any particular title belt.
"A championship – whether it's diamond, gold or silver – is not important for me right now," he said.
"The sanctioning bodies do not make the fighter, the fighter makes the sanctioning body," Marquez continued. "Therefore, I believe Mr. Sulaiman is upset because were are not fighting for the title."
Marquez also pointed out that Sulaiman's claims that the fight has lost interest is baseless.
"He says the fight lost interest, but in the first day, 14,000 tickets were sold. So I do not see how he could say the fight lost interest," he said.
Pacquiao and Marquez will fight for the fourth time on December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.