According to ESPN, on December 8, Manny Pacquiao will fight Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time. After the first three editions of the showdown ended with quite a bit of controversy, this fight will serve to settle a few scores.
Marquez will look to finally defeat his nemesis, and Pacquiao will look to reestablish his dominance after controversially losing to Timothy Bradley.
So, how will such a crucial and important fight impact the legacy of Pacquiao? That depends on the result.
If Marquez Wins
If Juan Manuel Marquez comes away as the winner, it would mark the downward spiral and possible confirmation that the end is nearing for Pacman.
Pacquiao is just coming off a crushing defeat, and he needs this win to get him back on the right track. He only has four losses to his name, and two consecutive would be a huge blow in terms of how his exit from the profession will be remembered.
Furthermore, a defeat to Marquez would further put his previous wins over Marquez in question. This potential loss would have a ripple effect throughout the legacy of Pacquiao.
Finally, it could even mark the end of a legend's career. Already 33 years old and with family and political obligations waiting for him back home, Pacquiao very well could need this win to keep his desire going.
If Pacquiao Wins
If, on the other hand, Pacman pulls out the win, his legacy will only be cemented. Many believe his loss to Bradley to have been completely unwarranted and unfair. The immediate public reaction to the decision was one of shock.
Because the Bradley fight will already be remembered by history as questionable, a win against Marquez would officially peg the loss as a fluke. Pacquiao would be hailed as having reacted to a victimization by completely bouncing back and asserting his dominance.
The controversy of his previous wins against Marquez would disappear, and Pacquiao would be confirmed as being in the conversation for best pound-for-pound fighter ever. If Manny wants to leave the Bradley loss behind him, and he appears to by not scheduling a rematch, he needs to rain down his signature punches onto Marquez and avoid a downward spiral.