Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: It has become the biggest rivalry in boxing today and will be renewed on December 8 for the fourth time.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 will be the final bout between two of boxing's greatest fighters and will hopefully shed some light on the question of whom the better boxer is. The first three fights were all contested, and both fighters still consider themselves to be above the other.
In the first fight between these two, Pac-Man dropped Marquez three times in the first round before Dinamita fought his way back to a draw. Then, in the second and third bouts, Pacquiao won in a split decision and a majority decision, but both times the fight could have gone either way.
Now, as these two champions face off for a fourth time, the boxing world is hoping to finally settle the matter of which fighter owns this rivalry.
Keys for Pac-Man
Pacquiao has technically won twice in this series, with the other fight being a draw. However, because he has failed to change his strategy to adjust against his opponent, neither of his victories were by a definitive margin.
Pac-Man must be choosy in this fight. He has to know when he has an opportunity to attack and when he doesn't. Because his stamina isn't what it used to be, he can't afford to waste energy in this bout, or else Marquez will battle back in the later rounds like he normally does.
Pacquiao must also use his speed to his advantage. He has to utilize his left and right crosses against a slower Marquez, as he likely won't win this fight by attacking a strong Marquez with brute force.
Will Pacquiao's stamina last him through the entire fight?
Keys for Dinamita
Marquez simply needs to make this fight go the distance. He has much better stamina than Pacquiao, even if his speed isn't quite up to par.
The biggest key for Marquez is to make use of his counter punches. He has a fantastic counter, and if Pacquiao leaves himself open, Dinamita must capitalize.
One of the smaller strengths Marquez now has against Pac-Man compared to other fighters is that he is used to Pacquiao's southpaw stance. Some fighters aren't used to this, and it can cost them, but Marquez has now seen it three times and is familiar enough with Pacquiao to know how to win this fight.
As boring as it is—and as much as I hate to make it—my prediction for this fight is similar to the results of the first three fights: I see Pac-Man winning in a split decision.
These two fighters know each other well, and neither is likely to make a big change before the fight. Because of this, Pacquiao will get out to a fast start like usual, but Marquez's stamina will help him battle back.
As always, the result will be in dispute, and the boxing world will never know which of these two fighters is truly better.
The rivalry will be left unfinished.
With Marquez probably claiming that he won the match, and Pacquiao saying it shouldn't have been as close as it was, this fight will be yet another one with an unsatisfactory ending.
We may never know which of these fighters is truly better than the other; however, that's what makes a rivalry great. I know it isn't sexy, but having a debate over which of these boxers is better may be a good thing for the sport, and that debate will rage on for decades.