Does Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez taint his legacy, and will the long awaited fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. ever happen?
In the world of sporting cliches, “keeping your eyes on the prize” is a valuable motto to adhere to – especially at the top level, where complacency is generally met with a cold hard wake-up call.
Manny Pacquiao learnt this lesson the hard way. After spending a week courting the media with speculation regarding his hotly anticipated contest against the flamboyant Floyd Mayweather, being dropped decisively in the third round and finished ferociously with a flush overhand in the sixth was not something that many had entertained as an outcome.
In stark contrast to Pacquiao’s pre-fight comments, Marquez played down the potential that this result could offer him. “I put this fight with one of my best victories,” Marquez said whilst hinting that he would not be committing to an immediate rematch. “I don’t know what is coming in the future but I’m going to rest and celebrate with my fans in the future.”
Having narrowly lost out on points in two previous encounters, and one drawn contest, against the legend from the Philippines, Marquez needed to add some substance to his earlier claims that he had in fact won all three bouts but had been the victim of biased judging.
The ingrained rivalry was clear for all to see as the fight opened at a blistering pace with both men going toe-to-toe. Marquez managed to knock Pacquiao down for the first time in 39 closely fought rounds with a over-the-top right hander in the third. With Marquez down on the cards and one second remaining in the sixth round, he delivered a punishing blow to an open Pacquiao who seemingly walked into the shot that not only extinguished the bitter rivalry that these two had laid bare for the world to see for a number of years, but also the multi-million pound clash between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
Entwined between the numerous disputes involving drug-tests, specialized doctors and an ongoing disagreement regarding the vast purse at stake, one scenario that had not been legitimately speculated was that Pacquiao would actually be beaten by Marquez, resulting in Pacquiao now going on an unprecedented run of two losses in two fights after suffering a controversial defeat at the hands of Tim Bradley and enabling the Mayweather camp and indeed the paying spectator to question if the much hyped encounter would or even, could, deliver what had been so anticipated when the fights prospects were initially tabled.
Pacquiao was taken to hospital after his knockdown for a ct scan after suffering from concussion and Marquez himself was adorned with the belt whilst also carrying suspected concussion and a broken nose. Despite the obvious implications that the result will have on the future of Pacquiao’s intended plans, he did declare that a rematch would be a very real possibility. ”I am going to rest and come back to fight. I would go for a fifth,” he said.
However, Marquez would be fully entitled to declare that this chapter is now closed until further notice so that he can revel in the much justified recognition and respect that he deserves. Pacquiao on the other hand will now have to somehow convince the powers that be that he is not only capable of greatness but more importantly credibility, which in this domain is a long hard lonely road to tread, especially on the back of defeats.
● Do you think Manny can still be handy and offer Mayweather a contest?
● Who will carry the flagship role for the boxing world now Pacquiao’s dominance has been shattered?
Guest post by Mark Moorley.
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