When Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez step into the ring on December 8th will the boxing world give the fight the credit and respect it warrants?
Whether you’re watching on HBO PPV or live at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada you will be watching because it is the most aesthetically pleasing fight for the commercial audience. But it is also the sport’s biggest star against his most challenging adversary. Aside from the good versus evil theme, the fight is for both fighters a hero-villain type of fight and enemy factor mirrors the fictional rivals that pop culture appreciates: Batman-Joker, Luke Skywalker-Darth Vader, or Harry Potter-Voldemort.
When the fight was first mentioned it garnered some very negative opinions from the boxing community. Fans and media both felt that enough was enough and when the fight was announced it had an anti-climatically reaction. I understand the negativity surrounding the fight and I too felt a sense of indifference towards the matchup.
However, there are reasons this fight won’t disappoint and nobody should overlook the entitlement this fight demands.
Different fighters, different terms
Yes, this is a fight that Boxrec.com will tell you has happened three different times in the span of seven years. Yet, can anyone say without a doubt that the terms have been the same for all three fights or even with their upcoming bout? I’d like to think of the 4th fight as the 2nd rematch. The 2nd fight was contingent of the 1st and Pacquiao’s career was closer to the same realm of Marquez’s. In the 3rd fight Pacquiao was considered a bona fide superstar and was sitting atop the pound for pound ranks. You can ask any rapper and they will tell you ‘Mo money, Mo problems’ and that was the case with Pacquiao in the 3rd fight, claiming that the circumstance outside of the ring hindered his performance inside. With this fight we will be seeing a sequal of the 3rd.
A War is a war is a war is a war
The most obvious reason this fight won’t disappoint is the fact that all 3 fights have been closely fought affairs that provided entertainment. In the last fight I assumed that because Pacquiao had proven he can be successful in higher weight classes he would dominate Marquez who had vulnerable in his one fight outside his natural weight class against Floyd Mayweather. I don’t know if Marquez could’ve beaten the fighters that Pacquiao beat at the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions; Marquez is a better fighter than most of the opponents Pacquiao fought at the higher weight classes, but it can’t be certain that he would’ve overcome the substantial weight and size difference. However, there is something about these two fighters’ styles that make for competitive bouts. I love great fights and regardless of the circumstances or redundancy of the fight it should be an action filled event.
Is the Pac back?
We’ve heard this before about Pacquiao returning to his old form, it seems like that’s been the word out of his camp for the last several fights. There is no reason to believe that Pacquiao will show up December 8th with that “it” factor in the ring, it may not even be something he can control at this stage in his career. However, I would assume that after his last outing against Marquez he might be more motivated to dig deep and unleash whatever fire can be rekindled (maybe that fire was left in his No Fear trunks). I don’t want to give it much merit, but it is worth mentioning that Pac’s last time in the ring he came out the hard luck loser in a fight against Timothy Bradley. Although Pacquiao deserved the win it will be interesting to see what kind of motivation, if any, can be drawn from that fight.
Over exposure means inevitable closure
In three fights between Pacquiao and Marquez we’ve yet to receive a definitive conclusion and many assume that the 4th fight will produce the same results. I’ve scored the 3rd fight on four separate occasions and each time I scored it for Pacman, but there were enough swing rounds on my card to suggest that Marquez could’ve been the victor. The difference for me in this one is that these fighters weren’t of the same caliber in the 3rd fight as they were in the 1st and 2nd, therefore they weren’t as familiar with each other as the rematch. With a better idea of what each will bring to the table this time around, a better plan can be strategized. Also, something’s got to give and maybe this fight will be the same, but eventually time will catch up with one of these fighters. I’m not suggesting either will get old overnight, but in this sport it isn’t necessarily the number of fights as it is the time between that dictates a fighter’s lapse in ability. Perhaps this fight will have an ending, but maybe it would take another 8 fights until a decisive victory is rewarded. But don’t assume because the 3rd fight played out in the same manner as the first two that the next one will have the same conclusion.