Pacquiao vs. Marquez Fight: Epic Clash Proves Dinamita Is Pac-Man's Real Rival

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 9, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 08:  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao throws a left at Juan Manuel Marquez during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao may not have to look far past his Saturday night matchup against Juan Manuel Marquez to seek out who his true rival is.

History indicates that Dinamita could have won all of the three previous bouts against Pac-Man despite the fact that the Congressman came out on top in the most recent two and notched a draw the first time around.

After being knocked down in the second round, though, Pac-Man bounced back against the man who believes he won all three of their previous encounters. He knocked down Marquez once, but the trademark counter-punching ability was Pacquiao's undoing.

As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, though, the resurgent Pacquiao was beginning to take control until Marquez threw the perfect punch:

All 3 judges had Pacquaio ahead of Marquez, 47-46 on their scorecards prior to Pacquiao being knocked out

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012

Manny Pacquiao: out-landed Juan Manuel Marquez, 94-52, in total punches, 68-41 in power punches

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012

Who knows how the fight could have played out had Marquez not connected perfectly with that iron right hand at the very end of the sixth round?

The more aggressive style of Pacquiao seemed to be paying dividends more and more as the fight wore on, which is going to only heighten the anticipation for a prospective fifth fight with Marquez.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is already advocating another epic showdown between the two bitter rivals, according to a report by Considering his company promotes both boxers, it appears that the probability of a rematch would be enhanced.

But both fighters have to agree to it and each have a lot to lose in another matchup.

Marquez finally got over the hump in a rivalry he feels he's owned in the ring but not on the scorecards. He is 39 years old and wouldn't have much more to prove.

Meanwhile, losing a third fight in a row overall and second to Marquez would be a huge blow to Pac-Man's career. There are already questions surrounding his life outside of the ring, between his involvement in politics and his passion for religion, among other ventures.

The various voices expressing those concerns are only going to be amplified in the aftermath of Saturday night's defeat.

That said, another battle would generate not only a big money grab for both players, but add another chapter to one of modern boxing's greatest clashes in the ring.

The tables have turned on Pacquiao. It is now he who has the massive chip on his shoulder and he who seeks the ultimate revenge should he face Marquez again. In that context, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to foresee these fantastic fighters on course for another collision in the near future.