Diaz-Pacquiao: Shouldn’t Manny Have Fought Marquez Instead?
By Manuel Perez: With only a week to go before super featherweight Manny Pacquiao (46-3-2, 35 KOs) faces off with WBC lightweight champion David Diaz (34-1-1, 17 KOs) for his lightweight crown at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s difficult for me to get too excited about this fight for a couple of reason. The most important reason is simple, Pacquiao is going into this fight having recently defeated Juan Manuel Marquez by a 12-round split decision in March, a fight that Pacquiao appeared to lose in every which way you can lose the fight except for the final scoring.
For most people, other than his legions of fans from his native country, Pacquiao appeared to lose the fight. Okay, it’s fine that Pacquiao is choosing to ignore the vast public opinion in the boxing world and choosing to move on and fight Diaz rather than giving Marquez an immediate rematch, but it doesn’t mean that I like it or accept it. For me, it’s like a person taking math class, say Algebra, for example, and they then fail the class with a D grade. Then, instead of returning to school to take the class, they then move on to pre-Calculus, even though they never proved that they could handle Algebra, much less Calculus. Although in this case, I don’t exactly consider Diaz a step up from Marquez. Indeed, it’s the exact opposite, he’s not as good as Marquez, which seems to upset me even more, because it seems that Pacquiao is going after an easy fight, a winnable fight rather than having to tempt fate and go after Marquez for a third fight.
I don’t see the Diaz vs. Pacquiao fight as being a particularly boring fight, mind you, because it probably will be an interesting bout, one with lots of action involved for as long as it lasts, but I also don’t see Diaz as being a truly top level guy, even though he’s currently holding the WBC lightweight title. I personally see Anthony Peterson as a much better fighter, as I do also several other fighters in the WBC, but mostly, I see the lightweight division being very weak at this point time. Believe me, if it was a strong division right now, we wouldn’t be seeing the likes of Diaz as champion.
Other than his fight with Marquez recently, I’ve been wondering from time to time why Pacquiao has suddenly gone into a career standstill, in which he’s fought a whole slew of mostly worthless fights in the past three years. I could somewhat stomach the 2nd fight with Erik Morales, considering that he gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson in the first fight a year earlier, but after Pacquiao soundly beat him in the 2nd fight, I couldn’t see the point in them having a third fight, could you?
For that matter, I didn’t see why there was any point in Pacquiao fighting Marco Antonio Barrera again, after their first fight, in November 2003, had been a virtual slaughter with Pacquiao stopping Barrera in the 11th round of a ridiculously one-sided fight.
From the way I saw, it looked as if Pacquiao was just trying to bankroll as many fights as he could to make easy cash, while avoiding more deserving opponents like Edwin Valero. I believe he would beat Valero quite easily, but it seemed sad that Pacquiao was wasting his career fighting easy opponents. I suppose from his perspective we can use the argument that Floyd Mayweather often uses, namely that boxing is about entertainment and that fans want to see particular fights, such as Barrera vs. Pacquiao, even if it seems a little forlorn.
I personally hate this kind of thing, because it seems to cheapen boxing, turning it into some kind of circus act similar to professional wrestling. It seems contrived in a way, as if the whole thing is done for effect, taking away the athletic competition from it. When you know who’s going to win ahead of time, since it’s a huge mismatch to begin with, it’s frankly really dull, no matter who’s in their fighting. Heck, you might as drag a star from retirement and put him in the ring and it would pretty much amount to the same thing.
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