PACQUIAO WATCH: Marquez won, so what?
By Edwin G. Espejo
17 Sep 2008
HOSANNAHS are now sang all over the boxing world after Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Joel Casamayor in the 11th round to crown himself as Ring Magazine's lightweight king.
Lost in the process was Marquez's arrogant claim that he is now the pound for pound king in boxing as if the mythical acclaim is his to own following a win over the Cuban former Olympic gold medalist.
Marquez, while undeniably is one of the sport's most gifted technicians, does not exactly possess boxing's nicest image.
Until now, he has yet to come to terms that he was beaten by a Filipino gentleman who earned his reputation as nemesis of Mexican boxing greats not by blabbering but by displaying it atop the ring.
His camp, including Richard Schaffer of Golden Boy Promotion which promotes Marquez, even went a little bit farther by saying Manny does not want anything to have ever again with their ward.
Marquez conveniently forgot that Pacquiao's camp immediately offered him a rematch after their first fight which ended in a draw and that it was Maruez who declined due to disagreement over the purse.
And it is also Pacquiao who agreed to give him the rematch he wanted early this year.
To say Pacquiao avoided Marquez is stupid statement that borders on arrogance and hallucination.
True, Manny's two fights with Marquez were close decisions and could have gone either way if these had different judges. But for every disenchanted Marquez fan, so is there a jubilant Pacquiao follower. So too will the equation be the same had Marquez own a win over Pacquiao in those two fights.
As many rightly observed, Manny has become a victim of his success. The world has taken notice of his spectacular knockout wins and decisive victories, even though he is the least technically gifted among today's feared boxers, that anything short of them will be a loss. The draw and a split decision victory over Marquez have become a "theoretical loss" for Manny because it failed to measure up with his previous victories ever since he broke out in the boxing world via a sensational demolition of South African Lehlohonolo Ledwaba.
In the aftermath of the trail of destruction that Manny left against topnotch opponents, most of them Mexicans, many could still not accept the fact that somebody has yet to offer an antidote to Manny's style, as awkward as it is.
Marquez came close to stopping the Filipino freight train that is Manny. But that was it – close but not enough.
I agree that a third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez is what the fans would like to see and what the sport of boxing needs in the light of retirement and fading out of contemporary big names in boxing.
But it has to be on terms that will satisfy both boxers.
At 29 and going 30, Manny can still and will surely still bulk up the way Marquez has added weight after staying for too long in the featherweight class.
I believe Manny will no longer go back to the lightweight division. The lightest Manny will settle will be at super lightweight division (at 140 pounds).
I also believe Manny will give Marquez another chance but it will not come just as soon.
Marquez had his opportunity before. He did not take good care of it.
Manny took a more difficult path on his way to where he is now. He took care of his business. After Oscar dela Hoya in December, there is Ricky Hatton lurking in the horizon. And maybe, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be lured back from retirement to face the man who succeeded him as boxing's pound for pound king.
Only then can Marquez hope to have another shot at his folly against today's acknowledged best boxer in the world.
Earn that title Juan Manuel Marquez. Take care of your business in the lightweight division and go for those pretenders in the weight class.
You may be the Ring Magazine's lightweight king, but pound for pound king you are not.
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