It looks like Manny Pacquiao will not hang up his gloves yet, and boxing writers have been generating names of his next opponents, like Juan Manuel Marquez.
There were a lot of debates heading into the fourth Pacquiao-Marquez held on December 2012, because the first three fights were close, with both camps of the boxers, and the fighters themselves, claiming victory.
Their four fights featured a power-punching buzzsaw against a technical boxer who also packed respectable power, and it looked like Marquez figured out a way to eventually stop Pacquiao in their fourth fight: load up with a lot of power for that counter right.
Well, the vicious right that felled Pacquiao in the sixth round of their fourth fight was no “lucky”, “Hail Mary” or “sucker” punch at all—in the prior rounds to the fateful sixth, Marquez was actually landing rights on Pacquiao. And after Marquez was knocked down by Pacquiao in the fifth round, Marquez was able to land a right on Pacquiao that somehow rattled the Filipino.
So the right that felled Pacquiao in the fateful sixth round was actually the “money punch” of Marquez, and I am very sure the Mexican practiced hard to land that punch with efficiency and timing.
While Pacquiao was on the verge of winning their fourth fight until the last five seconds of the sixth round, it was obvious that Marquez knew that his right cross would vindicate him.
And that brings me to one of the “anti-thesis” that I said in my past columns in 2013—that the third and fourth fights between Pacquiao and Marquez was absolutely unnecessary. My argument was simple: Pacquiao’s fame was at a high prior to their third fight, and it was Marquez who wanted vindication. Anyway, Pacquiao scored four knock downs in the first two fights.
Now, what is my take on a fifth meeting between Pacquiao and Marquez? Simple: Forget about it.
While I can see that Pacquiao has become smarter in his last two fights (against Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley), it would be suicidal for our compatriot to get into the ring against Marquez with diminished punching power.
And in his rematch against Bradley, Pacquiao was no longer the buzz saw with feared one-punch knockout or knockdown power.
Let’s face it—Marquez is one of the best technical boxers out there, and his split decision loss to Bradley on October 13 doesn’t mean he could be defeated by Pacquiao in a fifth meeting.
And in case a fifth meeting between Pacquiao and Marquez happens, the pressure will be on the Filipino to deliver a win that will avenge his sixth-round knockout loss to the Mexican. That may mean Pacquiao must knockout Marquez, which would be absolutely impossible if the version of Pacquiao who faced Rios and Bradley the second time around steps into the ring against the Mexican.
Pacquiao’s gunning for a knockout win (and there will surely be a clamor for that when the fight nears) might make the Filipino get too eager to score one, which will open him up for another vicious Marquez right cross. So history might repeat itself.
I also fear Marquez “walking through” Pacquiao’s flurry or punches to land his own power punches. I hate to see that! And I hate it more to see our beloved Pacquiao losing badly again to Marquez.
Anyway, Marquez seems not interested in a fifth fight with Pacquiao.