On the surface, it seems like the fourth bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez should never have been made.
When the two fighters meet Dec. 8 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao will take a 2-0-1 mark into the ring against his resilient rival.
Three bouts is plenty, why go for a fourth?
The best answer is that boxing fans love this matchup. They know that when Pacquiao and Marquez square off, they will get an action-filled bout that is likely to be close and exciting. Both fighters give their all and don't hold anything back.
In short, when Pacquiao and Marquez fight, they put on a crowd-pleasing show.
Pacquiao, however, may already be looking forward to what comes after the Marquez bout.
According to Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has already booked Pacquiao for a fight on April 20.
If that speculation is accurate, it would be perfectly understandable why Pacquiao might be looking to the future instead of concentrating on his preparations for Marquez.
However, when has Pacquiao ever gone into a fight under-prepared? He is a hardworking fighter in the gym and in the ring, and trainer Freddie Roach is not about to let him take any opponent lightly.
Pacquiao could not be more familiar with Marquez. When you fight an opponent three times, you know nearly everything about him and there are no surprises.
What may appear to be distraction and a lax training effort to outsiders will not deter Pacquiao.
He is smart enough to know that if there is a fight with Mayweather on the horizon, it would get undone quickly with a subpar performance against Marquez.
He will come with his best effort and won't want to face another debacle like the Timothy Bradley decision in June (source: New York Daily News).
All of his fights with Marquez have been close, but don't be shocked if Pacquiao can take his man out this time.