On December 8th, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will go up against Juan Manuel “Dinamito” Marquez for a fourth time. Yes, RSR fans, a 4TH TIME – I can’t emphasize the number 4 or the word “time” enough.
I’ve recapped the last three fights, including a true mess-up on my part where I, gulp, gave the wrong score. So, as it stands, it’s Pacquiao 2 wins (split decision and majority decision) and 1 draw. As my favorite film series is “STAR WARS,” it’s only appropriate I pool together some sage words of wisdom from Yoda – and I think there might be one said by Obi-Wan, but let’s keep the connection going – “STAR WARS – EPISODE IV” is called a “New Hope.”
Obviously, I HOPE the judges get this one right. Let me put it together another way. We’ve all seen the previous three fights. We’ve all speculated on how the judging in the last bout – or rather in Pacquiao’s last two bouts, could or should have gone either way. But I’ve said enough, let me just use Yoda’s words of advice for both Pacquiao and Marquez.
I’d offer that Pacquiao use this bit of advice. How can he apply it? In his last bout against Bradley, I don’t think he really lost on his terms. He didn’t fight as the best pound for pound champion. HBO’s 24/7 had shown a more focused, a more spiritually centered Pacquiao without all the chaos. But somehow, there is a fear about Pacquiao losing. He has, in the last 10 years, brought excitement to boxing. As he has gone through his various weight classes and winning in a decidedly, even bloody, fashion, it really hurts for all Pacquiao fans to even see him fight badly.
Marquez has a glint in his eye – fourth time a charm maybe? Psychologically, Marquez has already lost to Pacquiao, but needs to truly let his hands go and counter with Pacquiao. It’s his own belief in himself that he needs to open up and feel his way through this fourth bout. He needs to ‘unlearn’ the previous three bouts and find his way to win.
This bit of wisdom is for both Pacquiao and Marquez. Forget the hype. Forget the previous three bouts. Once the bell rings, it’ll be for both of them to fight and unleash whatever angst or tension either fighter may have built up over the years. Pacquiao vs. Marquez has been a great rivalry – as good as Arturo Gatti vs. Mickey Ward, Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Erik Morales, and “Sugar” Shane Mosley vs. Oscar “Golden Boy” de La Hoya. In each of these rivalries, the fighters came in truly as gladiators, ready to do battle. Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV may not be the fight EVERYONE wants to see (insert useless plug for Pacquiao – Mayweather, JR fight here). But I’ll be tuning in anyway. I want to see what Marquez is going to do.
Marquez is the true beneficiary of this bit of advice. It’s not as if he’s had completely one-sided bouts against Pacquiao. He has closely fought against Pacquiao for every round. He trades, he counters. He knows how to fight Pacquiao. But maybe it’s more than just knowing what he has to do – he has to apply it. He has to create the winning edge within his performance in order to truly make the judges see him as the winner of the fight.
I put this as a bit of advice for everyone that is watching the fight on December 8th – as well as to Pacquiao, Marquez, Freddie, Nacho, the referee, and notably – the JUDGES at ringside. Each of the three judges at ringside that nigh will be watching two different fighters and there are going to be different points of view of who is winning the bout. Will there be a judge that scores defense? Will there be a judge that wants to see more blood? Finally, and most importantly for both Pacquiao and Marquez – what will you show the judges? What are you going to bring into the ring that night? But, RSR and boxing fans, you see where I’m going here? I’ll be safely watching the fight somewhere, hopefully at my sister’s house, and I’m going to watch on her big screen one of my favorite fighters. FYI, I’m not the best person to watch a fight with – I get quiet in boxing – I’m a bit louder when I watch UFC. But again, what will the judges see? It’s really the judging that the point of view may or may not match what we see.
I’d like to end on this note about the future. Once Michael Buffer announces the winner, the future is already in motion. Will Pacquiao retire after the bout? Will Marquez call it quits? Will Mayweather, JR enter the ring and say he’ll fight Pacquiao after Pacquiao announces his retirement? Is Bradley going to fight Mayweather, JR? It’s the future, we shall see, but I’m sure there will be another …