Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have unfinished business. The latter fighter earned far and away the most impressive win of the pair's entire rivalry. However, the former has recorded two wins in four tries, and would have had three had the first fight been scored properly. Even if you don’t count the first bout, Pacquiao still has a one victory advantage over his foe.
These two need to fight one more time.
If Marquez could beat Pacquiao once more, he would credibly be able to call himself better. If Pacquiao was able to avenge this most recent defeat, he could dismiss the knockout as a fluke. Reputations aside – this showdown makes financial sense, too. Marquez is in line for a massive payday if he takes on his arch rival for a fifth time. Pacquiao, meanwhile, has recorded his highest grossing pay per views fighting either Marquez or Oscar De La Hoya.
Again, there is every reason in the world for this pair to do battle one more time.
Unfortunately, having every reason in the world to make a fight happen isn’t enough. (As fans who have begged for a Pacquiao-Mayweather superfight can attest to.) Unless all involved have a genuine desire to put something together, chances are, it won’t get put together.
Marquez has insisted over the past couple of weeks that he is interested in fighting again. However, the allure of going out on top, with his fans hailing him as a hero, may be enough to get him to hang up his gloves for good.
"[The Mexican fans] have always been with me and I will never forget that. I want to thank [the Mexican fans] from the bottom of my heart. They are a major force for me when I go into the ring to fight," Marquez told Boxing Scene recently.
Does that sound like someone who wants to fight again? Nope. It sounds like someone who wants to end things on a high note.
Marquez is smart. He knows that while Pacquiao may be in decline, he isn’t at the point yet where he is easy to beat. It is worth remembering that every judge had the fight scored in the Filipino fighter’s favor prior to that big sixth round knockout. It is also worth remembering that Marquez had a good bit of damage done to his face – damage that would have made the next few rounds hard to get through. That’s not say he wouldn’t have beaten Pacquiao anyway – he might have. It just would have been hard.
If Marquez retired right now, that would essentially be taking the easy way out. And while nobody would fault him for it, fans would remember the fact that Pacquiao gave Marquez three shots at claiming a victory, and they would question why the Filipino star wasn’t afforded the same bit of respect.
What do you think: would Marquez’s reputation take a hit if he took the easy way out and didn’t grant Pacquiao a chance to avenge his embarrassing defeat?