Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: 5th Fight Would Give Rivalry Closure

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 08:  (L-R) Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez exchange blows 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

Juan Manuel Marquez' thundering overhand right might have given us the definitive answers we sought in his rivalry with Manny Pacquiao, but it left us with an empty feeling inside.

I certainly wasn't alone in thinking "Is this really the last time that we'll see these two in the ring together?" once the fight reached its dramatic and unexpected ending.

Saturday night's bout at the MGM Grand may have begun as a boxing match, but it ended as an all-out war, with both fighters unleashing the "pure aggression" that Pacquiao had spoken of leading up to the fight (h/t Los Angeles Times).

It may not have gone the distance as each of their previous three fights had, but the entertainment value of those fights pales in comparison to what we saw.

This was six rounds of boxing in all its glory—and it left us wanting more.

Without question, Pacquiao would love a shot at redemption against the fighter who has given him more trouble than anyone else he's ever faced.

Having notched the signature win that was missing from his résumé, Marquez could easily walk away.

But both fighters left the door open to meet again, via's Dan Rafael:

Pacquiao: Why not? Yes, it's a good fight. I was just starting to feel confident because I thought I got him. If they give us a chance, we'll fight again. I'm gonna take a rest and then I am coming back to fight.

Marquez: We will relax, we will talk with the family and we will see what comes.

With both fighters sounding intent on stepping into the ring again, It's a door that they both need to walk through one more time.

While the 39-year-old Marquez proved that age is just a number, he'll celebrate his 40th birthday next August.

We all know that time is running out on his career, and that their next bout would be their last one.

Should they take on opponents other than each other in their next fights, it will only leave us once again seeking a definitive answer, this time to a simple question.

"What if? What if Pacquiao and Marquez threw down one more time. How would it end?"

They simply cannot leave that question unanswered.