Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez Proves Boxing Is a Dying Sport

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 12:  Manny Pacquiao (R) throws a right at Juan Manuel Marquez during the seventh round of their WBO world welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena November 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao retained his title with a majority decision victory.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The fact that Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are set to fight for the fourth time proves that the sport of boxing is on the ropes.

There aren't enough marquee fighters and the one fight that fans are lining up to see, hasn't, and perhaps never will, happen. Even if Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. do agree to a mega-fight before one or the other retires for good, what's next?

Three more Pacquiao-Mayweather fights?

Plus, boxing's loss is UFC's gain. Mixed martial arts is picking up steam. Not nearly enough to beat boxing, but at least enough to be a contender. 

That's not to say Pacquiao vs. Marquez is an uninteresting matchup, but for them to fight twice in a span of 13 months says a lot about how few intriguing rivalries and clashes are available for boxing fans today.

And even when a fresh new face is introduced, like Timothy Bradley, an outrageously controversial decision casts the sport in a negative light that asks fans to rethink their commitment. 

The frustration brought on by having to purchase pay-per-view in order to watch any fights actually worth watching delivers another painful jab to the sport.  At least when you shell out the $50 for a UFC event you know you're going to be entertained. 

Yet another sign that boxing is a dying sport.

Also, boxing is rarely ever discussed on today's popular sports talk shows (unless it pertains to the unicorn that is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather). It's almost as if the superfight between the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport is boxing's last chance at survival.

With the next generation growing up with a more modern form of combat, mixed martial arts, and no more to offer than the feint hope of a sport-saving superfight, it is clear that boxing is dying a slow death.

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will entertain inside the ring on Dec. 8, just as they have since their thrilling 2004 draw, but its lack of availability (like all pay-per-view boxing bouts) will keep the next generation of potential boxing fans from witnessing it.

Setting boxing back even further. 

So, what's next for boxing after Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV?

If you ask me, a steady decline in popularity before an inevitable death.


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