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How can Manny Pacquiao be a loser this year, one might say? One name springs to mind.
Juan Manuel Marquez.
Every boxer in history seems to have their bogeyman, and Marquez is one that Pacquiao always has problems with. Pacquiao can never beat Marquez with a clear-cut victory, and in November there was no one-sided shut-out as predicted.
Marquez gave Pacquiao a beating, with the Filipino champion lucky to escape with a dubious majority decision. In the build-up, there were signs that Pacquiao's mind was elsewhere and the ever-increasing circus that follows him did not help him keep his focus for the fight.
Earlier in the year, Pacquiao gave Shane Mosley a one-sided beatdown, though it did not add to his already great reputation.
The problem appears to be that Pacquiao is fighting as frequently as Floyd Mayweather. With the exception of Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao is also fighting faded opposition long past their primes.
There are few marquee fights out there for Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather is about to spend some time in jail, so the potential super-fight is still a year off. A rematch with a highly-motivated Marquez could derail the fight if Pacquiao were to lose.
Pacquiao is a great fighter, but he needs to find major challenges in 2012 on a frequent basis in order to avoid the possibility of fading away at the end of his impressive career.