The December 8th return of Manny Pacquiao to the boxing ring sees him facing nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez for the 4th time. Original reports had the match potentially occurring in Mexico City, where it would have been capable of filling a stadium and drawing a massive crowd, however the match will once again be held in Las Vegas. Interesting how money talks, as Marquez is 0-2-1 against Pacquiao in Nevada, and he has been very vocal about the previous results – Marquez thinks in his head he has won every one of those previous matches.
With Pacquiao coming off a loss to Timothy Bradley in his last outing, and with the fact that Marquez’ case for winning their last outing November of last year was his strongest case, I’m surprised the odds are not a little closer.
But as always in boxing, there is an undercurrent of that ‘dirty business’. Pacquiao recently announced a resolution to his lawsuit with Mayweather, clearing another hurdle to that fight. Like it or not, Pacquiao-Mayweather is still the biggest fight out there in terms of money.
I’m not saying there is a fix, but that potential could create a psychological effect among the Las Vegas boxing infrastructure. What do the judges look at anyway?
All things considered, the bigger underdog Marquez is, the better. Though he has a big backing from his native Mexico, he is not Canelo or even Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in terms of drawing power, he is far and away the most dangerous fighter to Pacquiao. But the public is going to bet Pacquiao.
Pacquiao could very well lose this fight. It is still far away, but the pressures Pacquiao faces prefight have long been on the level with the likes of Muhammad Ali, and those weigh you down. He has also talked retirement, and his poor performance in his last few outings point to the erosion of his physical skills as well.
There is another X-factor that I would not belittle. For years now, Pacquiao and his camp with Freddie Roach and the Wildcard gym have been magical. The entire camp which included Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr were on solid win streaks and all holding title belts.
Well Chavez Jr lost, Amir Khan lost and quit the camp, going back to his native England. Pacquiao looked bad, then lost. Face it, Freddie Roach is a great coach, but he has had a bad year. Yet more pressure.
So hopefully the Pacquiao odds continue to install him as such a heavy favorite. What I love about Marquez is that he has the hunger to get the win he feels he deserves. At this point, Pacquiao’s load has gotten heavier. I think he is good to go, and Marquez puts a nail in the coffin of the Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown. That becomes the superfight that never happened.