By Paul Strauss: Three and not out, and four might not settle the score. Maybe being unresolved is good enough. Shocking as it might sound, I don’t care. I like and admire both of these great fighters. Admit it, failure to produce a clear cut winner and final resolution to their four match-ups might not be such a bad thing. Constructive debate would continue and that is good for boxing.
It’s not difficult to envision future sportscasters bubbling over about the good old days when Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fought four times in one of the best rivalries ever! They will describe with great enthusiasm the fact neither fighter could gain the clear cut upper hand over the other, providing unmatched excitement, not giving an inch.
So, even if there isn’t the so called finisher, it will be okay. Fans of each will keep their hero, and experts will be allowed to conduct lively arguments from now until doomsday about who in their opinion was the best.
To borrow a little something from Van Halen, “If we could have the best of both worlds, (then we’d) have heaven right here on earth.” Maybe lack of a definitive fight is not what some consider “heaven”, but it will at least allow the debate to continue, and for both combatants to then go on for a little while longer, knocking the blocks off remaining competition.
Maybe Manny will realize retribution by beating Bradley? Maybe JMM will be the one to hand Danny Garcia his first defeat, assuming Garcia gets by another old master named Erik Morales? Maybe Little Money might hand an “O” to Saul Alvarez (or vice versa)?
Who knows, maybe four bits, on behalf of Little Money, might be able to give fans what they really want and break through the impasse with Top Rank’s Bob Arum and sign the two best for the long awaited head to head? Talk about needed resolution. Then all three can go on to the next phrase of their respective lives.
Speaking of the twilight years, I have an uncomfortable feeling Miguel Cotto might soon be taken out of the picture by Austin Trout, even though it’s a big step up for him. There will be some renewal, though. Victor Ortiz should resurface again, despite what his critics say. The same is true of Amir Khan. If they act fast enough and get back into the big picture again, then either or both might be future opponents for Pacman, Little Money, or maybe even JMM.
Then the big trio can ride off into the sunset and enjoy their laurels. Hopefully, Manny will continue strengthening his religious faith, marriage and family life. Undoubtedly, he also will continue with public service, all the while enjoying his celebrity status in the Philippines.
Little Money’s name and mug will surface now and then, at least in Vegas. Hopefully, he won’t be making headlines for the wrong reasons. Not sure what JMM will turn to in retirement. One thing is for sure, he and his brother will continue to be boxing icons in Mexico.
Hence, if there isn’t a kayo or unanimous decision, be satisfied with the fierce struggle, the intense competition, the display of unbelievable talent and courage. Let it be good enough. For many, that will be the case.