Opinion: Burden is on Marquez

Edwin Espejo
Juan Manuel Marquez cannot afford another close decision to taint his legacy unless he is into this fight just for the money
ROUND 4. Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez pose during their weigh-in December 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. File photo by AFP/John GURZINSKI
 
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Although Manny Pacquiao needs a very convincing victory to erase all doubts about his supremacy over nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, it is for the Mexican to register an emphatic win to validate his claim he is the superior fighter.

Pacquiao and Marquez will again match skills and brawn inside the ring Sunday, December 9 Manila time, in one of the most heated boxing rivalries in recent memory.

The fighting Filipino congressman owns two narrow wins over Marquez and an equally hair-splitting draw.

But Pacquiao no longer has business taking this 4th fight. No matter how much Marquez whines, his two wins over the Mexican are still two victories. Narrow as they are, nobody really cried out that the two wins were highway stick-ups like the one Pacquiao suffered in losing to Timothy Bradley.

But Pacquiao needs this fight to regain the lost sheen and prove that at 33 — going on 34 this month — he is still the young hungry fighter that took the boxing world by storm some 9 years ago when he blew the wits out of Lehlo Ledwaba.

Pacquiao once again needs to serve notice that all good things about boxing come from the East. 

However, success in other fields other than boxing has made Pacquiao’s life comfortable that many have started to ask whether he is still in boxing as a fighter seeking greater glories, or simply a boxer-turned-opportunist. 

Altered fortunes

Pacquiao will no longer go to sleep hungry. He will no longer sleep on the cement floor with just a cardboard box as a sleeping mat in dark and rat-infested gyms. He will never stow away in a ship as he now owns a yacht and a helicopter, although both are now reportedly not serviceable. 

When Pacquiao travels around the world, he gets the poshest and swankiest rooms in hotels. He can sleep in different houses that he owns and not have to worry.  

Marquez, who has given Pacquiao the biggest fits in boxing, needs a victory more than anybody else — even more than Floyd Mayweather Jr. to whom Marquez also lost to, although in a more convincing fashion.

Pacquiao is Marquez’ waterloo. But the Filipino is also the one Holy Grail for him.

While he may not have a lavish lifestyle like his archrival when he retires from boxing, Marquez, too, can now afford to turn his back from the sport.

At 39, the only thing that keeps him going is the one win that he covets against Pacquiao. This is why he did not take any chances in the way he has bulked up for this fight.

Marquez cannot afford another close decision to taint his legacy unless he is into this fight just for the money. Mexican pride pushes him to be there for the glory and nothing else.

The burden therefore lies on Marquez to bring this one final fight into a decisive and conclusive ending.

Marquez will be more aggressive than in all 3 previous fights with Pacquiao. But this would be a bad strategy against a man who feeds off aggression.

After all, Pacquiao built his fortune with and without it. – Rappler.com