Nobody saw Juan Manuel Marquez’ sledgehammer of a right hand coming, and unfortunately for Manny Pacquiao, he was the one standing in the way of the punch that shook up the boxing world.
With an insanely powerful counter punch that connected directly with Pac-Man’s face, Marquez ended his fourth bout with the man he had he had failed to defeat in three previous tries.
It was a spectacularly entertaining fight that had a fittingly dramatic ending. Boxing fans could not have asked for more.
But now, each fighter must move forward with his career, and this result will have a major impact on the direction both boxers take. Here is how the fight has impacted Pacquiao and Marquez’ careers.
This fight was supposed to be Pacquiao’s launching pad to a superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The plan was to clear up any doubt regarding his superiority over Marquez before entering into negotiations with Mayweather’s camp.
But all previous ideas on the road forward for Pacquiao need to be rethought, and no options should be left off the table.
After two consecutive losses, there would be little for Pacquiao to counter with when Mayweather claims that he deserves a significantly larger purse. At this point in his career, Pacquiao may be better off fighting Marquez or Timothy Bradley again in order to get a victory.
Beating one of the two fighters he has lost to this year would improve Pacquiao’s confidence and his position in future negotiations for a Mayweather fight. Delaying the matchup boxing fans have been waiting for is Pac-Man’s best move in the immediate future.
This certainly would not be the case had he defeated Marquez.
Juan Manuel Marquez
This is a career-defining victory for Marquez. He made a significant statement by delivering a punch like that in a fight of this magnitude.
The 39-year-old is known as an elite counterpuncher, and he delivered the clearest example of his mastery of this skill in the biggest fight of his career. That single moment has changed Marquez’ place in boxing history.
Had he lost the fight, he would been remembered for losing to Pacquiao more than anything else he has accomplished in his career. But his incredible knockout blow will now be the punch that defines his legacy.
It is unlikely that Marquez will enjoy a more satisfying result before he hangs up his gloves, and he certainly has more to lose than he has to gain by agreeing to fight Pacquiao again. However, this result has earned him another marquee fight, and no fighter besides Mayweather can draw as much hype or money as Pacquiao.
Another bout against one of sports’ giants is the best road forward for Marquez, and his incredible upset ensures that this option is open to him.
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