Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are set to meet in the ring for the fourth time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, December 8, a fight that will be aired live on HBO pay-per-view.
Pacquiao was awarded the decision in their last two fights, but their initial fight in 2004 ended in a draw.
The history and prestige of these two fighters makes this a can't-miss event for boxing fans. But for the love of God, pray that it ends in a knockout.
It's always a treat to watch a great fighter like Pacman perform, but the experience will be completely spoiled if the event comes down to a decision by the proven-to-be-flawed judges.
If a fighter doesn't go down in this one, we will once again go through the stages of ringside mourning: 1) Be angry over the fight's outcome; 2) Reach out to others to see if they're equally angry; 3) Question the integrity of the sport; 4) Demand action; 5) Be frustrated when nothing gets done and repeat the cycle after the next fight.
Will Pacquiao vs Marquez IV have a controversy-free ending?
There's little doubt that the process of determining the winner is flawed in the sport of boxing. If it's not the process, it's the lack of common sense or integrity by the officials.
Until this is fixed, controversy is bound to rear its head several times a year.
Just last June, Pacquiao entered the ring against an undefeated but overwhelmed opponent in Timothy Bradley.
No one expected Bradley to seriously compete in this fight and, according to many, he didn't. The popular perception is that Pacquiao handled Bradley with ease, but the judges saw a different fight and awarded the match to Bradley.
It would have been one thing if there were a rational explanation for that decision, even if that explanation didn't sit well with the fans. But to crown Bradley a winner after a lopsided loss was absurd.
Promoter Bob Arum conveniently demanded an investigation, but of course nothing has been done (according to Yahoo Sports).
Even in Pacquiao and Marquez's last fight, Pacquiao was awarded the victory after outscoring Marquez 116-112 on the scorecard.
Marquez's team marched out of the ring in anger after the decision, and much debate has surrounded the outcome.
So even without an epic controversy of Bradley proportions, there's still a green light for controversy if two capable fighters finish with anything other than a knockout.
Until then, it would be nice if this one could have a controversy-free ending.
But don't hold your breath.