Juan Manuel Marquez's nasty KO over Manny Pacquiao won't change Pac-Man's legacy, but neither will a fifth fight with his rival, or any other fight the Filipino legend agrees to fight.
Pacquiao will go down as one of the greatest fighters in history, nothing can change that.
He'll also be dinged for being a bit one-dimensional. Pacquiao knows only one way to fight. He will constantly come forward, looking for spirited exchanges, with an inconsistent regard for defense.
It is what has made him so spectacular during his career, it's what made him vulnerable against Marquez, and it is also what would make him an underdog against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
It makes no sense for Pacquiao to fight Marquez a fifth time. Marquez has the perfect skill set to defeat Pacquiao again. Though Pacquiao's legacy is safe, he stands to do unnecessary damage to his body and mind by seeking redemption against his rival.
Ten years after Pacquiao's career has ended, people won't say: "He was great but, that KO from Marquez ruined his career." If he proves me wrong and decisively defeats Marquez in a fifth fight, it won't change how his career is viewed.
Nothing can change the fact that he and Marquez have fought in perhaps the most competitive series in boxing history. Pacquiao can't undo the vicious knockout he suffered on Dec. 8.
Gaining revenge will only draw him even, and boxing pundits will still debate whether he, Marquez or Mayweather are the best fighters of the decade. There is no series of fights Pacquiao can put together to distance himself from this lofty classification.
That said, he must ask himself what motivates him to fight on. It can't be money, because Pacquiao has made a great living during his career. His legacy is firmly in place; that leaves nothing more than pride.
That is a mission without a definite goal, and thus a mission bound for failure.
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