In order to get back into the good graces among boxing fans, Manny Pacquiao needs to submit a dominant performance on Dec. 8 against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Whether or not you feel that Pacquiao deserved the win in his split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley in June of 2012, the fact of the matter is that the fight shouldn't have been that close to begin with. Bradley edged Pacquiao by a score of 113-115, 113-115, 115-113, which is still regarded as one of the most controversial decisions in a major fight.
There's no question that the Pac Man wasn't at his best against Bradley, and in order to get back on top of the boxing world, Pacquiao needs to knock out Marquez.
December of 2012 will mark the fourth time Pacquiao and Marquez have gone toe-to-toe in the boxing ring, and although Pacquiao has never lost a match to Marquez on paper, some may see it differently.
The first match between Pac Man and the Dinamita ended in a draw, while Pacquiao won the next two in controversial decisions.
Fresh in the minds of boxing fans is fight No. 3 in November of 2011, when Marquez was robbed of a win by the judges. They scored the match a majority-decision win for Pacquiao, which you can see highlights of above (h/t YouTube).
Fans of both boxers will argue to no end that their guy won, but there's still a lot of speculation surrounding who the clear victor was of that fight.
If Pacquiao is able to KO Marquez, I think fans will begin to forget about his loss to Bradley and go back to focusing on his reigning dominance atop the boxing world. None of the three fights have seen Pacquiao really establish a defining moment of dominance over Marquez, but a KO would do just that.
A knockout of JMM would silence all of Pacquiao's haters who believe that Pacquiao didn't rightfully earn his past two wins over Marquez.
If Pac Man fails to KO Marquez and wins in what turns out to be another controversial scoring decision, Pacquiao's detractors will never relinquish their stranglehold on his career.
The only way for Pacquiao to re-establish his dominance across the boxing landscape is to KO Marquez and solidify himself as the clear victor in the Pacquiao vs. Marquez saga.
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