After 3 closely contested meetings spanning 8 years, Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao met for a fourth time last night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and for six rounds they waged a more intense fight than any previous between these men. Then abruptly it was over, as Marquez landed a crunching right that dropped Pacquiao face first in the 6th round. Pacquiao had closed at a roughly 2 to 1 favorite at most of the sportsbooks, so Marquez finally paid off as an underdog in this matchup. The broadcast had immediate calls for a 5th match, an idea that neither man turned down outright in the post fight interviews. Let’s take a look at the options.
For Pacquiao, this means that the big money fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr will not happen. For years, it has been the fight everyone wants to see, but due to his second loss in a row, this one definitive, Pacquiao’s star will no longer be worth Floyd’s time.
Pacquiao could very well retire. He has talked about it in the past year already, and let’s face it, his time as boxing’s top guy have past. The pressures of being Manny Pacquiao include money needs, and despite making a fortune in career purses, Pacquiao may hang on for a few more paydays.
If that is the case, then a rematch with Marquez makes the most sense, as the bout this past weekend was epic, and when he went down, Pac was ahead on the judges scorecards, and Marquez was looking the worse for wear.
Another possibility if Pacquiao were to commit for three fights, would be to rematch Timothy Bradley, the man who beat Pac-man by controversial split decision the last time out.
Marquez and Pacquiao 5 could have a varied line, but Pacquiao would almost certainly come in as the favorite against Bradley. How much of a commodity Pac would be remains to be seen ,but he may need to string together 2 or 3 fights and grab all he can.
Marquez is sitting in a good position, and he should just sit back and wait for the biggest offer.
Marquez had a ton of support at the live event, and his already tremendous reputation in Mexico is likely to skyrocket. I look for Marquez to take a few fights in Mexico for the paydays until something big develops.
Inevitably for Marquez, the big one will come in the form of a young gun such as Brandon Rios or Adrien Broner. Then it will be about keeping his place or giving it up.
One last foot note of logic, with the steroid allegations regarding Marquez, we will have to wait probably until mid January to be sure he has not failed a test. Don’t worry, the books are already paying out, but if Marquez gets suspended, it would put his a damper on his ride off into the sunset.