The great equalizer that nobody accounted for may add a bit of intrigue to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez showdown scheduled for November 12 in Las Vegas.
Coming into their match, absolutely nobody aside from Teddy Atlas and 90-year-old Angelo Dundee gave Marquez any shot whatsoever to beat his Filipino counterpart. The Las Vegas gambling books, Pacquiao’s corner, boxing aficionados and even the UFC seemed to agree that the match’s result was inevitable.
However, when coming to this prognosis everyone simply looked at the dominance exhibited by Pacquiao over the last few years and, the Marquez’s noticeable decline in the same time span.
This past weekend, another factor got meshed into the equation: fatigue.
Despite the fact that he and Marquez were invited guests at a Concelebrated Mass this past Sunday -- as part of their Manila media tour kickoff -- Pacquiao was a no-show. Initially, the parties involved delayed the proceedings for 15 minutes in hopes that their national hero would show up. However, they eventually opted to proceed without him.
As it turns out, contrary to what some rumors would have you believe, Pacquiao overslept the festivities after a grueling day and equally hectic night. The wear and tear as a result of a consistent lack of sleep apparently got to the Filipino icon, and finally manifested itself in a missed obligation – something that almost never happens.
It didn’t end there, though. Pacquiao also showed up an hour late to a press conference scheduled between him and Marquez, with many figuring that weariness and tiredness were to blame for this as well. And, given Bob Arum’s refusal to address why his traditionally punctual client was suddenly showing up all sorts of late to pre-planned events, assuming is just about all anyone can do at this point.
So, what does all this mean for Marquez? Well, while it probably doesn’t give him an edge over his opponent in their coming match, it does put him in a better position than he otherwise would have been. Pacquiao is an amazing fighter, but he’s not superman. If he doesn’t find a way to buckle down, relax and treat his body the right way going into November 12 – he might end up having a lot more trouble than anticipated fighting a man who, at this point, doesn’t even deserve to share a ring with him.