Thursday, 05 July 2012 20:22

Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV? Seriously?

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John Keats, a 19th Century English Romantic poet once said, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

The first three episodes of Pacquiao vs Marquez were "things of beauty" that will likely enthrall fight fans forever.

Few can dispute Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez compliment each other well, stylistically, and have given fans three thrilling, action-packed bouts.

But do fans really want to see another close, controversial outcome with no resolution in the end?  Do they really want to see another fight that will likely end with one fighter, whether its Pacquiao or Marquez, and his fans crying, "Robbery!"

It's already happened three times with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez and odds are it will happen again.

Officially, Manny Pacquiao is 2-0-1 against the Mexican legend but most of Marquez's fans insist JMM is 3-0 or 2-0-1 against Pacquiao. They are undoubtedly matched for great fights but Pacquiao and Marquez have fought three times and, in the end, closure and finality have always been replaced by controversy and doubt.

And furthermore, in defense of both fighters, a solid case can be made for both men winning all three of their bouts.

Is this where boxing and the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry are headed?


Most fans would seemingly enjoy a "really good" fight that ends with a conclusive winner and loser over a "great" fight marred with controversy with no real winner in the end.

Pacquiao and Marquez IV Spoiler...

The fighters are so evenly matched the outcome will likely be based on the preferred style(s) of the judges assigned to the bout. If two of the three prefer crisp counter-punching and ring generalship, Marquez will likely get the nod. But if at least two judges place greater emphasis on volume punching and a high activity rate, Manny will probably coast to a decision.

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have already proven their mettle against each other. In their 'golden years' as elite fighters should they not focus on expanding and enhancing their legacies by conquering new ground?

Resolution and Finality
The indelible mark of controversy can spoil, or at least tarnish, even the most grand of spectacles in the sport of boxing.

Intense, high-pitched battles of technique, strategy, power and attrition have made boxing perhaps the most celebrated, if not most popular, sport since the beginning of time. However, fans often forget "resolution and finality" are every bit as important as the battle itself.

We watch boxing not only for its entertainment value but to get definitive answers. Who was the master of the ring that night? Who's strategies worked best? Who asserted his authority? What impact will a fighter's undisputed victory have on the landscape of the division and boxing as a whole?

When fans miss a big fight, their first question to someone who viewed the bout is always "Who won?" No one ever initially asks "Was it a great fight?"

After knowing a fighter has won by a decision, few people ask, as their second question, "Was it a great fight?" Fans typically want to know the judge' scores, how the winning fighter won (i.e. the strategies implemented), if the decision was fair and if there were any knockdowns.

Pictured: Manny Pacquiao, left, and Juan Manuel Marquez exchange leather in Pacquiao vs Marquez in Novemeber 2011.
Credit: Chris Farina, Top Rank


Will a fourth installment of Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez likely be a repeat or encapsulation of the first three bouts with yet another "indecision" decision in the end?

If Not Mayweather or Marquez, Then Who?

Tim Bradley
Controversy sells and labeling the outcome of Pacquiao vs Bradley 'controversial' would be a colossal understatement. However, the belief than Manny dominated Bradley is getting a bit tired these days as a growing number of fans (via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), boxing writers and insiders are changing their minds about the outcome. Although the high-majority still assert the decision was appalling, more people are starting to believe Pacquiao vs Bradley was legitimately close.

"It was a very close fight. I thought the judges handled it well," Keith Kizer, the Nevada Athletic Commission executive director, stated recently."It is unfortunate that people reacted the way they did after the fight. The judges did a great job."

Pictured: Pictured: Keith Kizer, Executive Director of the Neveada State Athletic Commission
Credit: Chris Farina, Top Rank


The aftermath of Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley is unprecedented in boxing history. That in itself makes a rematch ultra intriguing.

Can Manny Pacquiao get his title back? Can he knockout Bradley once and for all? Or will Tim Bradley, with two healthy ankles, ditch his 'Wheelchair Champion' moniker and execute a successful offensive game plan to win convincingly the second time around? 

Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley II is far more more palpable to the masses than Pacquiao vs Marquez IV.

Is Top Rank promoter Bob Arum scared of how Bradley might perform with two healthy feet should the rematch come to fruition?

Paul Malignaggi
The colorful Paulie Malignaggi is certainly more popular today than Tim Bradley last January, when Pacquiao vs Bradley was announced. And unlike Mr. Bradley, Malignaggi is a full-fledged welterweight with a WBA Welterweight title. Moreover, the charismatic Malignaggi is coming off one of his most impressive performances in years.

Why not Paulie?

Saul Alvarez
The popular WBC Jr Middleweight Champion does, in-fact, have a size advantage over Manny Pacquiao but he's no larger than the 5'11" version of Antonio Margarito that Pacquiao pummeled in 2010 and is probably smaller than the 164 lb "welterweight" who got owned by Floyd Mayweather last year (Victor Ortiz).

Pictured: Manny Pacquiao blasts the much-larger Antonio Margarito in 2010.
Credit Chris Farina, Top Rank


Revenue-wise, Pacquiao vs Alvarez probably represents the largest purse available to PacMan, next to Floyd Mayweather Jr of course. In addition, with a win over a younger, stronger, monster of a man in 'Canelo', Manny Pacquiao would undoubtedly shed the moniker of "Catchweight Champion" given to him by his distractors and would decisively end all doubt about his place in boxing today and in the entire history of the sport. 

Is the 5′ 6½" Manny Pacquiao too small for the 5'9" Alvarez?

  • At 5′ 6½", Manny is slightly taller than current IBF Jr Middleweight Champion Cornelius Bundrage who is rumored to be Canelo's next opponent.
  • Manny Pacquiao is only an half of an inch shorter than Miguel Cotto, who was the No. 1 Jr Middleweight for nearly two years before dropping a close, hard-fought decision to Floyd Mayweather in May.

New Blood
Give us some new blood, Mr. Arum. Confirm Pacquiao vs Bradley II or reach out to your rival, Golden Boy Promotions, and collaborate with them to give the fans some new and compelling match-ups.

Why continue making excuses to stage a bout between two fighters, albeit in a title-less affair, who have already fought three times and will likely battle to yet another predictable, inconclusive ending?

Leroy Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.