The fourth installment of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez may have lasting implications for the chances of the Pac-Man and Floyd Mayweather superfight going down.
Pacquiao has never lost to Marquez, the old-school Mexican fighter that he’s bested twice and fought to a controversial draw in their first bout. But that doesn’t mean that December’s clash should be assumed to be in the bag for the Filipino hero.
Last time around, in 2011, Marquez made things very interesting by competing with a distracted Pacquiao. Still, he couldn't come away with a victory no matter how he felt the match went in his own head.
This time, Marquez is fighting for revenge.
He needs a convincing win in what will be likely the final installment of the Pacquiao/Marquez series. A win would help the 39-year-old close off his career in a respectable light after losing to a lackluster Pacquiao last year.
In the opposite corner, Pac-Man also needs a win to prove to the world, and Floyd Mayweather, that he’s still got what it takes to make the long-pending superfight worthwhile for Money. He’d also benefit from a convincing victory in order to remove all doubt from a series of fights that have been shrouded in controversy.
He’s not going to have an easy run of it, but the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is certainly heavily motivated by his chance to knock off Marquez again and state his case for a Mayweather matchup in the same stroke.
The obstacles have all been removed, and the time couldn’t be better for the superfight everyone’s been waiting for. That’s assuming there are no other setbacks and that Mayweather will actually go through with it.
Will Mayweather vs. Pacquiao ever happen?
In the unlikely event that Pacquiao loses to Marquez, that could put a damper on the hype and in turn dissuade Money from finally taking the plunge against his longtime verbal rival.
Still, while it may hurt the chances of Mayweather signing on for a fight in the short-term, a loss by Pacquiao isn’t strong enough to end the overwhelming desire to see this long-anticipated superfight.
A loss won’t do anything to help it happen anytime soon, though.