This Saturday, November 12, 2011, the fighter The Ring ranks No. 1 pound-for-pound in the world, Manny Pacquiao, will meet the man who has been his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, for a third time.
In May 2004, Marquez came back from three first-round knockdowns and a huge 10-6 hole to more or less give the still-raw Pacquiao a boxing lesson the rest of the way, in route to a draw.
In March 2008, Pacquiao took a razor-thin split decision in the rematch; Marquez maintains he won that fight, and a lot of boxing fans and writers agree with him.
How close have those two fights been? According to the most recent issue of The Ring, if you add up all six judges' cards from both fights, Manny comes out on top by a single point, 679-678.
Reasonable people question whether this third match up will live up to the excitement of the previous two classics. It comes three years after the first sequel, and seven beyond the first bout, a lifetime in this unforgiving sport. The catch weight of 144 pounds is nine above where Marquez has been most effective so far in his career.
So maybe I just don't see this like a reasonable person, because when I hear Marquez and Pacman are going to finally fight for a third and final time, I just think, "Great, it's about time."