Whether or not Juan Manuel Marquez pulls off the upset on Dec. 8 against Manny Pacquiao, you can bet he will give the Filipino great the battle of his career.
This isn't about Marquez being the greatest boxer to ever touch gloves with Pacquiao. I'm not even saying that the 39-year-old Mexican will box better than he did in November 2011 against Pacquiao.
What I am saying is that Pacquiao is getting older and he hasn't displayed the knockout punch he once had since his TKO victory over Miguel Cotto in November 2009.
Marquez has always had a style and a chin that has made life difficult on Pac-Man. That has never changed.
What did change in November 2011 was that he came as close to a victory over the Filipino legend as he ever did. To some people (well, probably the majority), Marquez actually should have won that fight on the score cards.
It can be debated whether Pacquiao should have lost the June fight against Timothy Bradley Jr., but the one thing that was apparent was that he wasn't able to put Bradley away. The dominant Pacquiao we used to know would have ended that fight before it went to the score cards (although it was shocking that Vegas went against Pacquiao).
What should also make this such a great battle is that both boxers know that nothing will be "given" to them. Heck, a performance worthy of a win may not even be rewarded.
Both fighters will likely be trying to end this bout before the judges can have their say. That should make this a more explosive bout than Pacquiao's past two fights. And given the fact that Pacquiao may be hard-pressed to knock Marquez out, this could end up being a punishing fight for both boxers.
It won't be long before both Pacquiao and Marquez hang up their gloves, and both of them are looking to go out on a good note. Marquez may not ultimately defeat Pacquiao, but he's sure to give him another scare.