It has been a few days since the announcement of a fourth fight between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, hopefully the utter disappointment has died down enough to keep things in perspective. I’ve been accused of being a boxing optimist at times, which is kind of an oxymoron don’t you think? A person of optimism being a fan of a pessimistic sport like boxing is sort of contradicting. I submit that if anyone should keep their optimistic outlook on boxing it’s the fans, it could be the only way to maintain our sanity.
I know Pacquiao-Marquez IV isn’t the most ideal fight for fans, but I don’t see it that way, well at least not completely. You don’t have to be the most insightful person in the world to know what’s wrong with this fight. Any casual fan of boxing can rip this fight to shreds, and most “boxing experts” have been doing it since Thursday. I guess I see it in a different way.
The most important aspect of this fight happening is it’s not Pacquiao-Bradley. Most assumed that after the very controversial victory Timothy Bradley won over Pacquiao it was all but guaranteed they would be fighting November 10th. In fact, the fight poster for Pacquiao-Bradley II was a big part of the promotion for the first fight. I’ve heard plenty of people — many whom I respect — say that the Pacquiao-Bradley fight was a lot closer than most made of it. I’ve read articles from boxing’s best claim that Pacquiao-Bradley was not nearly as big of a robbery as the media made it out to be.
I respect everybody’s opinion as long as the person behind it can justify it for themselves. However, I disagree about the perceived competitive nature of that fight as it relates to it being closely fought. Pacquiao won that fight; maybe he didn’t look incredibly impressive, maybe only fighting the last 30 seconds of certain rounds hindered his effectiveness, and maybe his face suggested he took more punishment than initially thought. Regardless, he won the fight.
Too many people lose perspective when watching a fighter of that caliber; they expect a top fighter to perform at a higher level than most and if he doesn’t dismantle his opponent then somehow that translates into a losing effort. Well I believe in the old Ric Flair theology “to be the champ, you have to beat the champ,” not vice versa. It doesn’t matter if the Yankees beat the Red Sox 10-0 or 2-1, a win is a win. That is the same notion I take away from the Bradley fight, perhaps Pacquiao didn’t slaughter Bradley for 9-10 rounds, but he definitively won the majority.
So why should we see a rematch of a fight that wasn’t all that great the first time around, because 3 judges say we should? No, I can’t accept that. It wasn’t a competitive fight, nor was it filled with excitement.
When the 3 candidates for Pacquiao were announced I didn’t really care who it was as long as it wasn’t Bradley. I didn’t even care if Pacquiao chose not to fight again this year, so long as he didn’t fight Bradley. I guess I accept the Marquez fight by default, but with all that we as fans have endured over the years can you really say that Marquez was the worst choice?
Truth be told, if there is anything we are guaranteed with Pacquiao-Marquez it’s that the fight will be entertaining. Personally, I don’t think Pacquiao has anything to prove with Marquez or Bradley, but many believe Marquez won at least one or more of those fights and with time ticking down on both their careers I think Marquez deserves one last opportunity to get a conclusive win against Pacman.
I’m not trying to convince anyone, I’m merely suggesting alternative ways at looking at this fight. The way I see it is the fight is inevitable; it’s going to happen regardless of anyone’s feelings. Let’s just hope the desperateness of two fighters trying to cement a final victory over each other leads to an epic conclusion.