Manny Pacquiao and his team clearly weren’t expecting for the fourth Juan Manuel Marquez fight to end the way it did. It’s not that they believed they were infallible. Everyone understood that Pacquiao snuck out a decision in the third fight tht was extremely controversial. They just figured that, if a loss were to occur, it would be via decision. A close decision.
Obviously that isn’t what ended up happening. Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Marquez didn’t end in a close decision. It ended in a thud. And that thud was produced by the Filipino star falling face first on the canvas.
The stunning manner in which their guy lost, above all else, is what threw Pacquiao's team and all of Top Rank for a loop. They were prepared to spin a close Timothy Bradley-like loss; there was no spinning what actually ended up happening, though.
What ensued was complete chaos. Team Pacman began running around like chickens with their heads cut off. First they were contemplating retirement. Then they weren’t. An April tune-up was in the cards. Then it wasn’t. The fifth Marquez fight would happen in April. Then it wouldn’t. You literally had a new message every single day, and the cause was apparent: these guys really weren’t prepared to deal with this particular situation.
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During a recent dinner with family and friends, the man who runs the whole show, Pacquiao, shined a bit of light on why there was such a sense of urgency within is camp. Why, after this past December’s debacle, they have been so unable to get on the same page regarding, well, anything.
When pressed by a reporter on whether he saw himself fighting for another three years or so, the Filipino star’s response was telling: “Three years? That’s too long.”
And therein lays the explanation for everything. Pacquiao’s team sees the light at the end of the tunnel. The reason why they are throwing out all of these ideas, committing to and then de-committing from various plans, and are testing out ideas by floating them to the public is because they realize how little time they have to do anything. They have one year to milk Pacquiao’s career for all it’s worth – two max, depending on the outcome of the Marquez fight. They don’t have the luxury of taking it slow, letting stuff come to them.
“I am looking at Manila or Singapore as the venue of my next fight,” Pacquiao said during that same dinner.
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That too makes sense when you put it up against the timeframe that he threw out there. Pacquiao realizes he may only have one big fight left in him – he wants to a.) maximize profits off that fight and b.) possibly do it where a lot of his fans can see him live.
Pacquiao’s camp has appeared directionless, lost and perpetually confused over the past month. The Filipino star’s comments don’t change that. They just go some ways in explaining why that has been the case.