Pacquiao-Marquez IV: Will the Rivalry be Settled?

By: Danny Richardson

Follow me @Danny_SDBoxing

Last week, it was confirmed that former P4P king Manny Pacquiao, will face old adversary Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time. Pacquiao, who was on the wrong end of a bad decision against Timothy Bradley last June, will meet the Mexican in December, just over a year after he claimed a Majority Decision verdict in the third meeting between the pair last November. Although the fight will sell tickets and make a lot of money for both men, you have to wonder whether the rivalry will be truly decided come December, and whether it’s a fight that will generate massive interest.

The rivalry on paper, has already been decided. Pacquiao holds 2 victories over Marquez in their last two meetings, the first of course was a draw. However, many boxing fans believe that Marquez should hold all 3 victories over the Pac Man, and personally I believe Marquez won the second and third fights between the pair comfortably, especially their last meeting. We all agree that Pacquiao was robbed against Tim Bradley in June, and I believe that decision was just as bad as the one which saw Pacquiao’s hand raised against Marquez last time out.

Going into their third meeting, Pacquiao was a clear favourite, especially after recent performances left him at the top of the P4P tree. We were told by Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach that the Pac Man would blow Marquez away, that he was a far better fighter than the one who had faced Marquez twice before. Marquez had of course been dominated by a semi-retired Floyd Mayweather over two years before, so the odds were stacked against him. However, what we were told to expect and what actually happened in the fight were totally different.

Marquez boxed perfectly, counter punching at will and making Pacquiao look average at best. Although some of the Compubox stats were in Pacquiao’s favour, it was clear to most that Marquez had done enough to claim a decision, confusing Pacquiao throughout the fight and landing countless right hands that troubled Pacquiao. Don’t get me wrong, the fight was close, but the majority of boxing fans and pundits thought Marquez was the deserved winner. Of course, Pacquiao won a controversial decision.

Let’s be honest, Pacquiao hasn’t been able to figure Marquez out so far. Each time they have fought, Pacquiao has struggled to bomb Marquez away and pin his man down like he has with other opponents, whileMarquez seems to perform at his absolute best. Yet, it seems he needs to knock Pacquiao out twice to get a draw. No matter what Marquez does, he never seems to be able to get a decision, even if he has clearly done enough.

So that leads us as boxing fans to ask, will the rivalry be decided come December? The honest answer is, I can’t see it happening. We’re being told that Pacquiao will come with a new game plan and new tactics to beat Marquez, but it’s a broken record from the Pacquiao camp. We’ve been told this in each fight, yet what happens is always the same, Pacquiao struggles to figure Marquez out, yet somehow claims a decision.

Personally, I can see the same happening again. I will be extremely surprised if Pacquiao can comprehensively beat Marquez, particularly after he appears to be on the slide. Marquez is still a great fighter, and he could finally claim the decision he’s nearly always deserved.

So what happens then? If the fight ends in controversy again, will there be a fifth meeting? I honestly wouldn’t bet against it, but then you have to wonder, where will it end? How many times will they face eachother? Pacquiao needs to win convincingly, and then hopefully set up a fight with Floyd Mayweather. But if Marquez was to win, then we may see the Pac Man call it a day.

To be perfectly honest, I honestly don’t care who wins the fight, as long as it’s won convincingly. There are plenty of great trilogy’s in boxing, but very rarely do you get 4 great fights between two fighters. This saga longs for closure, and I hope we get that in December. But, the way the previous 3 contests have gone, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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