The fact that Manny Pacquiao's next bout will be with Juan Manuel Marquez (again) means that boxing missed a golden opportunity to right the wrong of Pac-Man's last fight.
That fight, of course, was against Timothy Bradley in what was a controversial and head-scratching decision that gave Desert Storm Pacquiao's welterweight title.
The result of that bout created a fire-storm of conspiracy theories that had the sport's judges fixing the bout. It was just the latest black eye for boxing in what is a long history of crooked decisions.
But the sport had a golden opportunity to fix the situation—or at least as best as they could have—by scheduling a rematch between the two. However, with Pac-Man set to take on Marquez for a fourth time, boxing missed the boat on that one.
Had Pac-Man been given the rematch with Bradley, there's no doubt the result in the ring would have been the same, except this time the decision would have gone Pacquiao's way if the fight made it that far.
There's no doubt that after the first fight, Pacquiao is the superior fighter of the two and it isn't even close.
The title belt would have been returned to its rightful owner and boxing fans could see first-hand that the sport was trying to fix itself.
Granted, promoter Bob Arum felt nobody would watch the rematch, thus making it not worthwhile. That thought process is a gross underestimation of the situation. Besides, it's not like people have any more of an interest to see Pac-Man fight a guy he's already beaten twice.
Pacquiao fans would have flocked to their television sets once again to get a glimpse at redemption after how the first fight ended with Desert Storm.
Instead, the sport will continue to live with what happened in June and that stain will remain until Bradley and Pacquiao meet again.
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