Manny Pacquiao: Why Fourth Marquez Fight Will Be Pac-Man's Career Finale

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Boxer Manny Pacquiao laughs during the Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez - Press Conference at Beverly Hills Hotel on September 17, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao has proven all that he needs to prove in the boxing world, regardless of Saturday night's outcome versus Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pac-Man doesn't hold a title, and he won't have the chance to win one here. But that doesn't matter. He's won 10 world titles, taking home belts in eight divisions.

Pacquiao's boxing career has to end sometime. He could wait around for Floyd Mayweather Jr., or he could take on a lesser fighter. But there's no reason to do that. Mayweather doesn't seem inclined to step into the ring with him, and fighting anyone else would be pointless.

Say he loses to Marquez Saturday evening in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. That puts any notion of a Mayweather matchup right out the window. His only chance to keep fighting would be to take on a lesser fighter, or try to avenge his controversial loss to Timothy Bradley.

That doesn't benefit anyone. The majority of people who watched his split-decision loss to Bradley believe that Pac-Man won the fight; fighting him again would prove nothing. Taking on a different fighter would accomplish the same.

But what if he wins? The end result is the same. People will still remember the controversial decisions in the first three fights between Pacquiao and Marquez, and there's not a major difference between 55 career wins and 54—especially if a title belt wasn't earned in the process.

It's not like Pacquiao doesn't have other interests. He's delved into politics, and he seems to have a life outside of the ring. At 33 years old, there has never been a better time to hang up the gloves and walk away.

The fourth edition of the Pacquiao-Marquez saga won't disappoint. These two fighters are even because each man provides the perfect strength to counter the other's weakness.

Pacquiao obviously wants to win, but it's not going to change where he winds up. He's already a legend, and hanging things up after Saturday night's blockbuster fight makes too much sense.