There is indeed so much to expect in the highly anticipated fourth encounter between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8 (December 9 in Manila) at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Many questions are going to be answered in this fight. Will the result be controversial again? Will Pacquiao finally knock Marquez out or will Marquez score a convincing victory this time? Could this be Pacquiao’s last fight?
If you look at the last three fights between these two protagonists, you would say the result will still be hotly contested. But if you closely analyze Manny’s last three fights, especially against Timothy Bradley, you would end up saying that those fights give Pacquiao more of a reality check than a wake-up call. Reality check, because Pacquiao could be deteriorating already and that he does have difficulty against fighters who are quick and always moving.
Pacquiao thrives against standing targets and it is easy for him to dominate them. The fights against Oscar De la Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and Antonio Margarito will prove that argument. But against moving and fast oppositions? The results are clear. The three Marquez fights and the Bradley fight will suggest Manny’s shortcomings.
That is why I see this fourth fight to be very critical as to whether or not Pacquiao will continue fighting. This is like heaven or hell for Pacquiao. If he goes on to lose against Marquez, there is not much interest anymore in his future fights, not even a fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. But if he wins or beats Marquez convincingly, he will erase all doubts about him deteriorating or losing focus and he will have all the reasons to relive and light up the interest of a Mayweather fight next year.
Whether it be heaven or hell for Pacquiao is a choice he will have to confront from this time on until fight night. Already a politician and a Gospel advocate at the same time, the once pound-for-pound king knows this is already a matter of will and desire.