Manny Pacquiao: Pac-Man Should Avenge Recent Losses Before Calling It Quits

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 08:  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao throws a right 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

At 34 years old with 61 career fights, it's no secret that Manny Pacquiao is getting to the point where retirement should be on the horizon.

After a vicious knockout at the hands of historic rival Juan Manuel Marquez, the last image we have of the prolific champion was that of a defeated man. Lying face down on the canvas is not a good look for an all-time great like Pacquiao.

That's exactly why he needs to fight at least two more times before walking away for good.

Pacquiao has been one of the highest grossing fighters in boxing history. He's an eight-division world champion and will go down as one of the most dominant fighters in his era. Realistically, he could call it quits tomorrow and he could walk away from the sport with his head held high.

However, Pacquiao is a fighter whose place in history will constantly be debated. Ask anyone that follows boxing where he ranks among the all-time greats, and you're sure to start a massive debate.

If he wants to cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in history, he needs to end his career with a little bit more success than his current two-fight skid.

The truth behind Pacquiao's most recent losses is that they could have gone either way, and that's what he should be out to prove his next time out.

While the image of Pacquiao out cold on the canvas is what remains the most poignant moment of the fight, it overshadows the fact that Pacquiao was winning the fight to that point. Aside from an early knockdown for Marquez, it was Pacquiao that was on the attack with his signature left straight and power.

That isn't to say that Marquez's win was a fluke. It was a perfectly timed counter and Pacquiao opened himself up for it; there was nothing "lucky" about the punch. However, it wasn't as if Pacquiao was dominated from bell to bell by Marquez.

Based on the whole fight, Pacquiao would have to be the favorite if a fifth fight were to take place.

If Pacquiao gets the job done against Marquez in a fifth fight, he'll still have one more order of business if he wants to avenge his most recent losses—a rematch with WBO welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao's first fight with Bradley was a high-profile affair, with the younger Bradley taking Pacquiao's title in a controversial split-decision win.

Two judges may have scored the fight for Bradley, but a WBO review of the fight saw five judges award the fight for Pacquiao. While the decision could not be overturned, it highlights the controversial nature of the fight.

If the two were to have a rematch, Pacquiao would have the opportunity to once again prove that he is the better fighter. If he came out on top, he would be able to finish his career on a high note.

Pacquiao has every right to hang it up whenever he wants to, but avenging his latest losses would go a long way in proving his career-long dominance.