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Manny Pacquiao Vs Juan Manuel Marquez This trilogy must happen

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By : Rich Mazon

Boxing, unlike any other sports is where a great match does not necessarily need to end in one seating. There are Super Bowl games that makes you crave for another overtime despite three overtimes played but the game ends on that Sunday night. A great baseball game will determine its winner, no matter if has been played 6 hours non stop or a mind blowing 25 exhausting innings. A game seven NBA final series will decide its winner on that very stadium, on that very day.

A boxing match ends too on the same night it is held, but it does not necessarily mean a great fight stops there. There are no overtimes in boxing. There are no extra innings. But it has rematches. And if that does not quell the doubts of the first match then there is always a third and sometimes, the final installment of what has been a great match up, the trilogy. The sport’s greatest moments are matches that did not end in one meeting, not even in a rematch. Some of the high point of boxing are written in trilogies. Ali versus Frazier, Gatti versus Ward, Barrera versus Morales, Bowe versus Holyfield, Ali again versus Norton are some that comes to mind. Fights that turned into battles. Battles that turn into war. War that ends in a third showdown between two warriors of the squared ring. Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez is one that has the potential to be added to this list.

We boxing fans know the story by now. The first one was close and dramatic. The second fight was as close, as dramatic and  very debatable. On the first fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Marquez despite being floored three times in the first round,  recovered and with his heart and excellent counterpunching ability was able to win majority of the rounds thereafter. An erroneous scoring in one of the judges’  card of the first round negated the victory for Pacquiao. Four years and four pounds later, the rematch dubbed as “ Unfinished Business “ was on hand. The title of the fight seems to foretell the results of the match. It will yet be another unfinished business after 12 grueling rounds in the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Manny Pacquiao escaped with a split decision victory in one of his bloodiest fights so far. A victory overshadowed by a brilliant performance from the gutsy Mexican, who despite tasting the canvass yet again in the third round, got up just like the first fight and battled again with heart and precise punching. The rematch did more than to settle the business between the two in the eyes of fans. It grew a hunger for a third match between the two gladiators of the ring.

Here we are, three years after that great rematch. And things have changed for both fighters. They have been successful on their own. Pacquiao becoming the sport’s pound for pound best and a record eight titles. Four more after capturing Marquez’s super featherweight belts in 2008. Marquez too hasn’t done too bad for himself. He is 5-1 after the Pacquiao loss. His lone loss came from an overmatched, oversized opponent in Floyd Mayweather Jr. He won the lightweight title in 2009 over titlist Juan Diaz in what is adjudged as the year’s best fight. He has successfully defended it twice against Diaz in a rematch and a top tier opponent in Michael Katsidis. He has proven to be one of the sport’s greatest ring tactician, able to adapt and change the game plan as what the match calls for. Three years have passed, Juan Manuel Marquez has been the question mark on Pacquiao’s career and record.

A question mark, Pacquiao would want to erase. And despite him stating in the post fight press conference of their rematch in 2008 that “ the business is over.” It really has not been over between the two of them. With Marquez’s taunting Pacquiao both in Pacquiao’s own country in the Philippines, where he followed him and demanded a rematch in full view of Pacquiao’s countryman to wearing a shirt that states “Marquez beat Pacquiao twice”. Marquez has been the thorn on the side of Manny Pacquiao’s career. His opponents from David Diaz to Shane Mosley has viewed, used and studied the two Pacquiao - Marquez tapes in their training against him. All of them hoping  that they find the formula to neutralize the Pacific storm. The great Oscar Dela Hoya even hired Marquez’s trainer, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain to train him on his fight against Pacquiao. All tried to be like Juan Manuel Marquez, all failed.

On November 12, 2011, the third and hopefully final chapter of this great rivalry will be staged once again in the city that witnessed their last two courageous battles, Las Vegas. This time with a much bigger audience worldwide than the last two, owing to Manny Pacquiao’s popularity of present time. He has become the sport’s poster boy, with his every fight a much anticipated event worldwide. Juan Manuel Marquez hopes to take away that recognition, that status from Pacquiao. He believes he can match him round after round despite being a huge underdog this time. He knew in his heart and mind that he has Pacquiao’s numbers then and still has it now. He believed he beat him then and that he can beat him on November 12. Nothing can stop that belief now. Not Pacquiao’s eight belts. Not Pacquiao’s impressive achievements in the ring. Not Pacquiao’s title as the sports’ best pound for pound fighter and not even him being a congressman of the Republic of the Philippines.

Boxing like all other sports needs its conclusion. All questions needed to be answered on a match that is left hanging the first or second time around. No matter how bloody it has been. No matter how messy it has become. No matter what has transpired between the time of the battles. Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez needs closure. The boxing world needs closure. The fans needs closure. That is why this trilogy, despite the 8-1 odds in favor of Pacquiao, despite the perceived mismatch between the two, despite the time elapsed from their last great fight, must happen

2 Comments

Comment by lon cefiro — August 30, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

very true..but still Manny will win! No doubt about it.

Comment by marlon alejos — August 31, 2011 @ 4:19 am

Great article!…that’s correct “the fight must happen”

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