Manny Pacquiao's legacy is on the verge of entering forgettable territory.
He has lost his previous two fights, and after such an illustrious career prior to Timothy Bradley's victory—all controversy aside—and getting knocked by Juan Manuel Marquez, the 34-year-old is facing a tough career ending.
Pacquiao also said in an article by the Manila Bulletin via Yahoo! News that he only has a few fights remaining:
Asked about the number of fights he intends to do in the remainder of his Hall of Fame career, Pacquiao grimaced when the interviewer flashed his five fingers.
"That's just too much."
"Maybe, one or two or the most is three," he said.
That's not leaving much room for error with regards to a strong career finish.
And given everything that Pacquiao has already accomplished, it will be even more difficult to leave us remembering him in prime form. On the contrary, Pacquiao can really reestablish himself with another bout versus Bradley and/or Marquez.
As the two fighters who consecutively defeated Pac Man, the best way toward revival is avenging two key losses. Shortly after the controversial loss to Bradley, Pacquiao also stated according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com:
Pacquiao said he wants the rematch, too.
"No problem," he said. "I'll be ready for the rematch."
Factor in Bradley's title defense over Ruslan Provodnikov and a second opportunity for Pac Man here would be immense. Given his age by comparison to Bradley's and the American sporting a record of 30-0 right now, an undefeated opponent would only amplify the magnitude.
There's also still the potential of another match against Marquez, also from Rafael earlier in March:
It's likely to be a fifth fight in the fall with Pacquiao, his great rival who still leads their legendary series 2-1-1. But Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who co-promotes Marquez with Zanfer Promotions' Fernando Beltran, said there are other possibilities as well, and that Marquez is going to look at them.
So, just from an opponent perspective, Bradley and Marquez are the two key aspects. Because it's always better to end on a winning note.
As for fighting, Pacquiao does need to become more efficient when attacking. Not so much in terms of quantity since possessing more patience to defend then counterattack is to his advantage.
The footwork, technical mechanics of punching and maneuverability all still reside. Meshing these attributes with tougher defense by simply being patient will exploit an opponent's vulnerabilities.
Combine the elements of age and the physical demands of a long fight and possessing increased patience sets up a balance between offense and defense. In short, he'll become consistently effective throughout the match versus opponents that know him quite well.
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