Manny Pacquiao’s legacy and chance to step into the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. took a significant blow after being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.
The fight, which was supposed to be another 12-round nail-biter, never took that shape throughout its opening rounds.
Both fighters sensed the urgency of this bout and amped up the intensity right from the start. After trading knockdowns, Dinamita tagged Pac-Man with an overhand right that knocked him out, literally.
There were doubts that the boxing world would never see the showdown between Pacquiao and Money before this devastating loss. It’s the fight the millions of fans who tuned in were hoping to see.
Pacquiao was supposed to beat Marquez and give the people what they wanted to see.
Instead, we’re left with questions about just how good Pacquiao really is. Has he gotten soft and lost the competitive spirit that made him one of the most feared pound-for-pound fighters in the world?
After two straight losses, it would appear that way.
The doubts about seeing a Pac-Man versus Mayweather super fight were justified. There will likely be no such fight as a result of this surprising outcome.
Maybe it could happen somewhere down the line, if Pacquiao can pick up the pieces and get back into a winning groove.
But by then, would anyone even care?
The draw of the Pacquiao and Mayweather bout was largely due to the myth of both of the great fighters. Everyone wanted to see whether Pac-Man could finally silence Money and deal him his first loss in the ring.
Does anyone even think that he has a legitimate chance at pulling that off now?
Still, the knockout heard around the world won’t kill Pacquiao. The legendary southpaw will forever be enshrined as one of the best modern era fighters to get into the ring. One knockdown can’t change that.
But he’ll never turn into what so many wanted and were pulling for him to be: the best boxer in the world.
The result of this fight has jeopardized not just Pacquiao and Mayweather’s super fight, but the aura around the sport itself—that is, until the next fighter captivates us and brings us to our feet like Manny Pacquiao has for so many years.
It is truly a shame.