RingSide Report

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Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Marquez III – Boxing’s Last Chance


By Geno McGahee

When Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson met on an HBO PPV, it was a curious thing from the start. Hopkins has never been an exciting fighter and Dawson has never caught on with the boxing public, so the fight card didn’t appeal to most fans, but the die-hard boxing fans rented it.

Hopkins, the oldest champion in boxing history, was finally facing off against Dawson, and it was the moment that those that have followed the career of “Bad Chad” have been waiting for. They nearly had it. Dawson outworked Hopkins and seemed too quick for the old fighter, but after the two tangled up, “The Executioner” fell to the ground and claimed injury, but most believe that he wanted out of the fight.

The fight was called a TKO for Dawson, but the promotional muscle of Golden Boy made sure that the title went back to Hopkins. Now the disaster that was the Hopkins-Dawson PPV was not the only black eye for boxing. We also had the PPV before it: Floyd Mayweather JR vs. Victor Ortiz.

The pound for pound champ that fights once a year, if that, elected to cheap shot his way to victory, in a foul-fest, which was initiated by Ortiz when he head-butted “Money.” Joe Cortez was sleeping at the wheel as Mayweather unloaded on Ortiz when he wasn’t looking and the bout left a terrible taste in the mouths of everyone that watched. It was a disgrace and boxing is a disgrace of late.

Rewind a little more and we have the highly anticipated title unification bout between heavyweights Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye. The entire “I won’t hit you if you don’t hit me” bout was not worth the 3 year wait and Haye’s mouth that sold the fight could not be backed up in the ring. Wlad didn’t push the issue and cruised to a safe UD win.

Nonito Donaire, the man that is set to fill the shoes of Manny Pacquiao as he leaves the game, earned no new fans with his 12 round snoozer on HBO last Saturday night. The recent gift decision for Paul Williams over Erislandy Lara was another reason why fans should not watch boxing anymore. It’s become the joke of the sporting world and the fighters have done it no favors.

On November 12th, boxing may get some good press. The always impressive Manny Pacquiao will face off against a familiar rival in Juan Manuel Marquez, ending their trilogy in a bout that most fans expect fireworks.

Without Pacquiao facing Floyd, Marquez was the next best thing. He’s been in some high profile fights lately, done well, with the exception of his battle with the much bigger Floyd Mayweather, and has maintained his stance that he should have gotten the decision in both fights with Pacquiao. He is not the only one that believes that and this is why we have this third bout.

The first encounter was a memorable draw, where Marquez climbed off the floor to battle evenly and win many of the later rounds. The rematch was a closely contested battle with both men having moments and the knockdown that Pacquiao scored being the difference in the split decision win. Now, we are here, but Marquez is facing a major problem. He has held off Pacquiao twice but can he do it a third time? Erik Morales was able to control Manny in the first encounter but the pressure got to him and he couldn’t keep him off forever, losing the next two encounters by knockout.

Marquez doesn’t have the punch to knock Manny out, so he will have to control him and take a decision, but the most likely scenario is that Pacquiao clears it all up by stopping Marquez in the middle rounds. The reflexes are not as good as they used to be, he’s had more wars, and he’s talking like the loser already. The VERY smart money is on Manny.

Will a Pacquiao TKO win over Marquez help boxing? If the PPV buyers feel like they got their money’s worth, then yes. So far, those that have purchased the last two PPVs have been asking why they are even a fan of boxing to begin with.

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