Boxing

Pacquiao vs. Marquez 3: Pac-Man Can't Afford Another Split Decision

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 09:  Boxers Manny Pacquiao (L) and Juan Manuel Marquez pose during the final news conference for their bout at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino November 9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Marquez when the two meet in the ring for the third time on November 12 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2011

The last thing Manny Pacquiao needs is another split decision.

After failing to defeat Juan Manuel Marquez the first two times these fighters met, Pac-Man can ill-afford to let that happen again.

Sure a win is a win, but in boxing, not everyone sees it that way. At this point in Dinamita's career, Pac-Man should be able to knock him out.

Pacquiao is younger than Marquez and is the more talented fighter of the two. However, Marquez has been able to hang with Manny in the past. Another split decision would simply give Dinamita the chance to say that he was robbed by the judges for a third time.

In Marquez's mind, he was the better fighter the first two times around. That might not be the case, but you can certainly make the argument that he won both fights, especially the first bout between the two back in 2004.

Marquez appeared to be the better fighter of the two back in 2004, yet the judges couldn't agree and the fight was ruled a draw. Dinamita again felt robbed in 2008 when the split decision victory went to Pacquiao. This was another evenly fought bout that really could have gone either way.

Marquez is good enough to take down Pac-Man, there should be no question about that. Nevertheless, Pacquiao cannot afford another split decision. He can't afford to again hear that the judges favored him and that he truly didn't win the fight.

Pacquiao needs to dominate this fight from start to finish. He doesn't have to knock him out, but he needs to make a statement. He needs to prove either by KO or by unanimous decision that he truly is the better fighter. Until he does that, Marquez will claim to have been screwed by the judges for the third consecutive time.

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