The dust has finally settled. After five long days, everyone has come to terms with Juan Manuel Marquez knocking out Manny Pacquiao. It happened. We all saw it. Time to move on.
At this point, there is just one question that needs to be answered: should they fight again?
Despite his family’s pleas that he contemplate retiring, Pacquiao has made it abundantly clear that he wants to continue fighting. And while Marquez has yet to give a definitive statement on what his future looks like, it’s safe to assume that if his arch rival demands a rematch, he will likely oblige.
After all, Pacquiao granted him two rematches following his defeats.
If both are interested in setting Pacquiao vs. Marquez part five up, it will likely happen. That doesn’t answer the original question, though.
The original question was: should it happen?
It absolutely should.
Forget the fact that Pacquiao owns a 2-1-1 record over Marquez – just the way that the fourth fight was going prior to the knockout is reason enough to stage a fifth. Before Marquez hit Pacquiao with the punch heard around the world, he was losing the bout 47-46 on every single judge’s scorecard. He threw less jabs (11 to 26), less power punches (41 to 68) and less total punches (52 to 94). More importantly, he was connecting on a noticeably lower percentage in each category (11% to 24%, 27% to 46% and 21% to 37%, respectively.)
Whereas Marquez definitely looked like more powerful fighter throughout the entire match, Pacquiao looked like the better fighter. It just so happened that Marquez, one of the greatest and smartest counterpunchers we have ever seen, caught Pacquiao with the perfect shot at the perfect time right as the sixth round was ending. If not for that blow, though, we might be having a very different conversation today.
"A fifth fight? Why not?" Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said after the fact. "Have you seen a more exciting fight in years?"
And Pacquiao, for his part, seemed equally interested in the idea of redeeming himself.
"Why not?" Pacquiao told ESPN. "Yes, it's a good fight. I was just starting to feel confident because I thought I got him. If they give us a chance, we'll fight again. I'm gonna take a rest and then I am coming back to fight."
This fight should happen. Not because it will define anyone’s legacy – both of these guys are legends no matter what. Not because it will allow Pacquiao to even the score, or some ridiculous thing like that. (He's already up.) No, the reason this thing should happen for a fifth time is because it would make for a good fight. We’ve had four (eh, three) good fights between these two, and there is no reason to assume that their next one won't be just as if not moreso entertaining.
What do you think: should Pacquiao and Marquez square off for a fifth time?