Please, no more Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao fights. We've seen the permutations of this fight play out the first four times. We know how evenly matched they are. We've been there, we've done that.
And frankly, I think Marquez could do better.
It's a tricky argument to make, mostly because a fifth fight between the two would undoubtedly be competitive and would be a profitable draw for each.
Then again, the fact that Marquez knocked Pac-Man out will lead to some folks questioning whether or not Pacquiao is over the hump. The simple fact that the result was a knockout rather than a decision could hurt the fight's drawing power, even if the first six rounds of the fourth fight were a blur of exchanges and excitement.
But as boxing fans, a bit of novelty would be nice, right? I mean, c'mon, a fifth fight?
What's the point of that?
Besides, Marquez should strike while he's the hot name in boxing. I wrote yesterday I felt the logical target for him was Mayweather, and the fight makes sense for both parties.
Mayweather lost the appeal of a superfight with Pacquiao after the loss. Marquez is going to be a wanted man after this result and nobody draws like Mayweather. Plus, a close result sets up the possibility of a third fight (the two first fought in 2009).
Even if Marquez fights someone with a lesser profile, wouldn't boxing fans prefer that to a fifth fight with Pacquiao? Wouldn't you rather see Marquez take on a young, up-and-coming boxer rather than once again face Pac-Man, who is clearly not the dominant fighter he once was?
But its all about money, and the only money that will likely convince Marquez to avoid Pacquiao is a bout against Mayweather. That's the fight he should gun for. That's what he deserves after knocking Pacquiao out.
And as boxing fans, that's what we deserve as well. A bit of variety would be nice. Considerations about the novelty of a fight and the matchup itself rather than "Which fight will be the biggest cash grab?" would certainly be a breath of fresh air.
It's why, quite frankly, the UFC is a better product these days. Take the power out of the hands of the promoters and you earn the ability to tell the two best fighters in a weight class to fight one another. You get the matchups people really want to see.
Marquez will probably fight Pacquiao a fifth time, and the sport and its fans will be nary a thought in the decision.
But he could do better. He should do better. We all deserve better.
I'm not holding my breath.
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