Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Pacquiao-Marquez III That Never Was

I would rather see Manny Pacquiao fight against Juan Manuel Marquez than Shane Mosley. I may be wrong but I think that the Pacquiao-Marquez three-peat would surely add more emotion and drama and a great prelude to Pacquiao-Mayweather, the most anticipated fight in boxing history. It’s a dream fight where practically all of us in Boxinglandia would be very hungry to witness. Mosley is not the popular foe against our hero. But no doubt, Mosley is willing to fight and had a chance, no matter how slim, against Manny. (Remember that in boxing, a lucky punch can change everything by just a wink of an eye.)

In Filipino billiards and pool parlance, the recent matchmaking “shot” made by Bob Arum and Freddie Roach is called “plesing” (actually “placing”). It is a shot when the object ball is rolled or “placed” on a safe side. I am wondering why Mosley, with his age (he will be only 4 months away from his 40th birthday when he climbs the ring on May 7 in Las Vegas) and his lackluster performance against Sergio Mora that ended with a worth-yawning split draw, in Arum’s nose in this very hour, Mosley is the worthiest fighter among the three contenders in Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto (27-27-0; 21 KOs). Mosley, no doubt, was a great fighter but his days are now over. While Berto on the other hand is just still in the middle of his career and still has a lot of punching ahead of him.

If only Arum were a painter, he is now painting a tiger out of a kitten model. In his recent public appearances, he’s falsely projecting Mosley as the type of opponent who can beat Pacquiao and the one that could generate large pay-per-view sales. But Arum and company just gave me and my drinking buddies something that we do not truly want. Well, majority of the Filipino fans, on the other hand are not mindful of matchmaking and other down-the-ring intricacies. Money matters in boxing such as these are immaterial to the ordinary Filipino boxing fanatics, it seems. What is of utmost importance for us is seeing our boy win and if possible, via the most spectacular victory in the sport: a brutal knockout.

But why I pick Juan Manuel Marquez over Mosley? First, I believe that Manny would win over Marquez and it will turn out to be tougher than the impending duel with Mosley. That man from Mexico who reportedly drinks his own urine will surely give the congressman from Sarangani couple of powerful combos and counterpunches. Second, and this is important : Marquez and Pacquiao have something to settle, to prove to themselves and to their respective countrymen.

The Pacquiao-Marquez III, for me is more emotionally-charged than what we are about to witness in five months time. True, Marquez was mauled by Floyd Mayweather,Jr. in their last bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in September 2009 but if the rematch did materialize and Manny won against Marquez - especially if via early round KO - this would add excitement to the much-awaited brawl between Pacquiao and Mayweather. I believe that the Marquez-Pacquiao trilogy will be entertaining and more enticing to the general public that the recent match booked by Arum, et al.

Maybe Manny and Floyd, Jr. are not really meant for each other (?) but let us all hope against hope.

Though Marquez acknowledged Manny as a great fighter, he said before his fight against Mayweather that, “He (Manny) does not want to fight me. I want the best pound-for-pound boxer, bring in Floyd Mayweather Jr.” Marquez wants the world’s boxing superhero very badly for the latter snatched the former’s WBC super featherweight title. That was three years after that controversial split decision in May 2004. Marquez wants vengeance. He wants no Zorro, the only Mexican legend that was never been defeated by the Pacman, in his training camp.

In addition, a win against Mosley would prove nothing except we will be more get used to Pacman’s winning streak. It would be same as usual while a win against Marquez will seal the deciding contest that endlessly haunt our champ. Some years ago, Ricardo Lois, a boxing expert from LA Examiner said, “Honestly, it’s Pacquiao who needs a third fight with Marquez. To remove the throbbing thorn Marquez has left in his kingly paw.” Maybe it’s not yet time for removal of such a thorn. It may come later, or never.

If not for Pacquiao-Dela Hoya, this unfinished issue could have been settled long time ago. And now that the fight against Mosley is already finalized, that golden opportunity, once again, slipped through the fingers of Marquez.

More than three months ago, Arum reportedly commented why he preferred the other contenders than Mosley, “He (Mosley) is going to be 40 and he’s in the lighter weights, where speed is so important. He’s on a show with guys … old enough to be his son.” According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, Mosley got the fight, not only because he is the least likely to win compared to Marquez and Berto, but because Mosley is now officially out of the Golden Boy Promotions. Here involve the grand business tussle between rival promoters that most of us do not understand. But that’s how the wind blew in different direction and why Arum flip-flapped that fast. The Top Rank boss does not want to loose his baker, err, boxer, giving him his daily bread.

Well, if Arum only a wind instrument, he is a weather vane.

I can do nothing but to settle for this fight at hand. While with great anticipation we wait for the possibility of Pacquiao-Mayweather till eternity, we Filipinos deserve to enjoy the Pacquiao-Mosley fight - and hopefully the weather won’t be a spoiler - this coming May…

(Photo from Google Images)

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