Recent comments made by Manny Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, seem to imply that the fighter's archrival, Juan Manuel Marquez, was simply lucky to knock out Pac-Man in the sixth round.
While that does sound like a dismissal of one of the most notable knockouts in the sport's recent history, there is a point to be made in the context of Koncz's remarks: Dinamita wouldn't be so lucky in a prospective fifth matchup with Pacquiao.
Lem Satterfield of Ring TV logged what Koncz recently had to say about Pacquiao-Marquez IV:
Marquez threw a punch that was, you could say, lucky. I don't think that it was perfect timing, but it was somewhat of a lucky punch that landed squarely on Manny's chin, and I think that any boxer would have gone down with that punch, and Marquez's hand was raised.
Koncz also points out that Pac-Man was well ahead on the scorecards before the huge right from Marquez came flying in at the very end of the sixth round. ESPN Stats and Info has the data to back that up:
Manny Pacquiao: out-landed Juan Manuel Marquez, 94-52, in total punches, 68-41 in power punches— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012
The previous three meetings between these two struggled to distinguish one man as the true winner, despite the fact that Pacquiao held a 2-0-1 advantage entering last Saturday's bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
That is not the basis for which to assert that Pacquiao's hand would be raised at the end of a prospective fifth fight.
Rather, it is the fact that he was dominating before getting knocked to the canvas for good in one devastating blow. Pacquiao has to be confident that he could stand up to Marquez again, since he stormed back so strongly in the second half of the relatively short-lived clash.
Three options are essentially on the table for the immediate future of Pac-Man's career: He could have a rematch with Tim Bradley, square off against Marquez once more or finally face Floyd Mayweather.
It's likely that Pacquiao would go with one of the former two, since he and Money May can't seem to get on the same page about a potential superfight in 2013.
As far as whether a fight against Bradley or one against Marquez would be the bigger draw, it would have to unquestionably be the former. According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, the WBO ruled in favor of Pacquiao after the controversial decision resulted in a loss for the Congressman.
Meanwhile, the Marquez-Paquiao rivalry may have had its most definitive outcome this past weekend, but it's far from determined who is the better boxer when both are in the ring.
One of the best duos to ever trade punches, Pacquiao has definitely had the more storied and accomplished career. Yet Dinamita finds a way to give him an outstanding fight every time due to his ability to counterpunch and absorb immense punishment from Pac-Man's lighting-quick combinations.
If the last showdown was any indication, though, Pacquiao is back on track to returning to form. With so much at stake after two consecutive losses, it would be difficult to bet against Pac-Man should the two titans meet again.