Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 - Validation vs. Confirmation!

Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 - Validation vs. Confirmation!
By Robert Brown, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 26, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)

Manny Pacquiao - Juan Manuel Marquez
By Robert Brown, Doghouse Boxing. - On December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez will once again face off to determine once and for all who the master of these boxing legends is.

Spanning almost a decade these fights have been riddled with controversy, vigorous debate combined with the smell of corruption.

The three preceding fights between Pacquaio and Marquez have been amongst the most debated in boxing history. With the first fight we had people on each side of the fence arguing one point either way, but most people were comfortable enough with the drawn result. With the second fight you had Pacquaio and Marquez fans fiercely arguing that their side had won the fight with a small group of neutral fans in the middle, perhaps slightly leaning towards Marquez, however Pacquaio came out on top. In the third fight there had seem to be in most people’s eyes finally a conclusive result between the two with Marquez dominating with his superior use of the ring forcing Pacquaio to follow him and constantly nailing him with straight right hands over the top of Pacquaio’s straight left hand and he was also able to land right uppercuts from a distance because Pacquaio falls in after throwing punches. When the fight ended and the first score card was read out, being so even, in that split second I said to myself something along the lines of “oh my god, they are going to give it to Pacquaio” and as the rest of the scores were read out my worst fears were realized... Pacquaio had miraculously come out with the majority decision victory. The effect was so profound it prompted the topic R.I.P. boxing to be heading up twitter for the next 24 hours and produced comments from hard core boxing fans, casual fans, celebrities to people that didn’t even really follow boxing.

In most polls over 70% of people had Marquez the winner, since then we have had Pacquaio’s very much disputed loss against Timothy Bradley, which created as much if not more debate than the Marquez fight. Pacquiao's loss Bradley prompted investigations, possible congressional inquiries and an even stronger stench of possible corruption in the sport. All this combined with the unsatisfactory PPV figures of Pacquaio / Bradley have lead Marquez and Pacquaio back together again.

Marquez who after the third fight had seemed certain to retire has been lured back for a chance of validation to prove that he is as good if not better than Pacquaio and that he won the preceding three fights. Pacquaio is out to dominate and destroy the aging Mexican warrior to prove to himself and the general public that he is the better fighter and that he did indeed with the previous three fights by knocking Marquez out and adding an explanation point to the ongoing saga between the two.

My personal opinion is that Marquez has more to lose in this fight than Pacquaio and perhaps shouldn’t have taken it because in reality this fight comes down to which fighter is more past their prime, because I think we all agree they are both well past it, Marquez is naturally slowing down with age and Pacquaio only fights in 30 second to a minute bursts these days and very rarely throws the 4 5 6 punch combinations that he used to. Since the Antonio Margarito fight, Pacquiao seems to have lost the real thirst, hunger and killer instinct. This has been demonstrated in recent fights with him complaining about cramps, calves, hamstrings and quads, offering excuses for his apparent recent lackluster performances.

Taking all this into account I believe if Pacquaio performs badly in this fight he will have more excuses to pull out of his kit bag than Marquez. Even though Marquez is the much older fighter heading towards 40 years of age, I believe his run of consistent performances will harm him in this case, if he performs badly against Pacquaio where as if it’s the other way around a raft, a veritable raft of excuses will come out, both from fans and Pacquaio’s camp, excuses from he had cramps to he had an injury going into the fight to Pacquaio’s just simply worn out from fighting bigger men, some of these excuses may have merit but they do not provide for justification.

It is my belief that even if Marquez wins this fight he will not get the validation amongst the broad spectrum of boxing fans that he truly deserves. If he loses that will provide confirmation amongst the general and uneducated boxing fans that Pacquaio was the better fighter and if Marquez wins they are just going to say Pacquaio was past his prime, in essence this is a lose-lose situation for Marquez apart from the pay packet.

Recently Marquez has stated in an interview with Pacquaio on ESPN that he has to do something different to win this fight, I don’t necessarily subscribe to that theory. If Marquez discovers early in the fight that Pacquaio’s obvious technical faults have not improved then he must follow the same game plan except with a slight adjustment of an increase in output of throwing more punches, because if Pacquaio once again falls in after throwing straight left hands, stands still after throwing jabs and has an inability to cut off the ring, Marquez with his superior command of the ring and counter punching skills baring a major slowing down of reflexes and another unjust decision should be victorious over Pacquaio.

People should not make the mistake of looking at these fights as a collective... fans should look at these fights as individual classics, because unlike other rematches, these two have had long gaps between fights and were at different stages of their careers. So it's unfair to judge the two on a collective basis, but we all know that is not going to happen. Although I will watch it, I believe there is no need for a 4th fight. Let’s hope both fighters give a great performance and their careers are not remembered for this result.

For the record if the fight is scored like it should be without any controversy I pick Marquez by split decision.

In closing this comes down to validation for one vs. confirmation for the other.

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