Pacquiao vs. Marquez Fight: Why This Is Pac-Man's Most Important Bout

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIDecember 7, 2012

Sept 19, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez pose during the press conference announcing their fourth fight at The Edison Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Manny Pacquiao has had his share of important and memorable fights in his career. None of them, however, is more important than the upcoming bout against Juan Manuel Marquez.

Contrary to popular belief, as eloquently expressed by Patrick Clarke of Bleacher Report, Pac-Man has everything to fight for in the fourth installment of his series of fights against Marquez.

Every time a fighter steps in the ring, it’s important. There’s no doubting that. Those facts aren’t lost in labeling this bout at this level of significance.

Sure, some of Pacquiao’s other fights had significant titles on the line. They even had never-ending implications for his legacy. But at this point, everyone knows the man, myth and the legend.

He’s in a rare spot to exceed all of those fantastic accolades and become something even more.

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has created a special title for this fight. It has been dubbed the “Champion of the Decade” belt. From the WBO website:

The Champion of the Decade belt is slated to be a luxurious rendition of the now classic world title belt. While true to the iconic WBO motif, some of its features include over 170 hand-set Swarovski crystals imported from Austria. The eagle that sits atop the center plate has been overhauled and made richer, with crisp detail and an assortment of jewels. A mirror-finished and crystal studded parameter elegantly completes the composition. 

Winning this fight means everything to Pac-Man. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the ultimate goal on the horizon, though. He can’t get to a place where the conditions and opportunity will meet for the Mayweather fight to happen if he falls off his game and loses this fight.

As the Champion of the Decade, Pac-Man would have something that Mayweather not only wants, but something he feels he deserves. And rightfully so.

This is the type of title that should be on the line when those two storied fighters finally step into the ring.

That will be the most important fight of Pacquiao’s career. Until then, whoever is next is standing in the way of it happening.

All of that is why this is such a crucial bout. A loss could doom his chances of finally inking a career-defining clash against Mayweather.

If that fight never happens, we’ll be left talking about “what if” rather than “what was.”