On April the 12th, Manny Pacquiao made a thunderous comeback when he dethroned Timothy Bradley from his WBO crown and took with it, his 0 loss record. This almost automatically made Arum happy as he explicitly stated Juan Manuel Marquez was the next route for Pacquiao’s career (so long as Marquez won his next bout with Mike Alvarado- which was inevitable). The win meant that a fifth match-up was Arum’s most prominent option.
This will be the 3rd time Pacquiao fights the veteran Mexican out of his last five fights and the fifth time he will fight Marquez in his entire career, which begs the question, does this fight hold as much weight to it as it did in previous outings (if any at all?). However, considering the performances of both fighters in their last outings – it may be the most pivotal in their entire careers.
Pacquiao looks like the fresh, fiery bogeyman he once used to be, the ‘Pac-Maneth of old’ per say. But it cannot be disputed that the overhand right sent him crashing to the canvas twice in his last outing with Marquez.
And in the Bradley fight, the overhand right seemed to be a weapon that worked, putting Pacquiao into a dazed trance in the forth. A fight in which commentators refused to give Bradley any credit due to their emotional attachment to certain fighters that seems to be deeply entrenched. The Pacquiao himself said that he “was seeing stars” in the fourth round to Max Kellerman after fight interview, which goes to show that the crooked works of an overhand right is a viable tool against Pacquiao and if used properly ;and it has been his kryptonite.
With that being said, we must admit that Marquez has one of the best overhand rights (if not THE best) in boxing right now. It is one of his most powerful weapons which says a lot, considering he is number 6 on the p4p rankings (according to The Ring). If Timothy Bradley can hurt Pacquiao with this destructive punch (with only 12 KO’s to his name, out of 31 fights) then surely the Mexican maestro can. Marquez not only goes in believing he hurt Pacquiao, he KO’ed him; he is assured he can do it again. And on top of that, Marquez has shown that at the ripe old age of 40, he still possess his 8th wonder by knocking Alvarado down with it in a vicious fashion. He will sleep at night for the coming months for 8 hours each day knowing he knocked out the former pound for pound number 1 in a vivid fashion that most boxing pundits will probably never forget.
In fact, ever since that dark night in October, there’s only one image that enters everybody heads when someone utters the words “6th round”. And due to that awaking experience, it is blatant that it had its toll on the 35 year old. The once vicious, pellet eating style of the Pacman has been replaced with the subtle savvy acumen of an aging fighter. A fighter that cannot afford to slip up, and has to fight a more tentative, risk free approach. Gone are the days where Pacquiao has bulldozed through his opposition (in the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera and Ricky Hatton). Trainer Freddie Roach tantalizes people with the ‘Pacquiao letting go of his compassion’ one liner. However he isn’t fooling anyone anymore. Pacquiao DOESN’T KO people because he no longer CAN. It doesn’t make a difference if you like the guy or not, if you haven’t got the ability to hurt someone to the point where officials consider stopping the fight, then maybe Pacquiao is a bit too compassionate for his own good. But when did you see Pacquiao actually HURT Brandon Rios or Bradley?
Which brings me to the point, is there any point in the two veterans putting it on the line again? Marquez would capture a world title in a fifth weight class while Pacquiao avenges a brutal blemish in his record. But apart from the stakes on paper, no one is really calling for this fight (with the exception of Bob Arum). There are plenty of other fighters out there that seem much more of an exciting match up.
Arum hinted to Pacquiao fighting Chris Algeria but in reality, that’s not a matchup that anybody wants to see (nor has any demand for). A challenging fight for Pacquiao would be fighting the likes of Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman who may seem like legitimate threats to anyone in the entire welterweight division. Young menaces that have the hunger to become a hazard to either of Juan Manuel Marquez or Manny Pacquiao. Even more, Danny Garcia versus Marquez seems like an interesting and competitive matchup, while Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan versus Manny Pacquiao are also equally compelling match ups. With these vast array of possible opponents, one would think of why Bob Arum is forcing a fifth fight down our throats while Oscar De-La Hoya is trying to rejuvenate boxing’s buzz by amending relationships between promoters.
Money. Greed. Politics.