All it took was one punch. One flawlessly timed, perfectly placed shot to the chin to put pound-for-pound legend Manny Pacquiao down for the count.
Not just down, actually. Out. Cold.
It was stunning. Juan Manuel Marquez, the man who delivered that knockout blow, had gone 36 rounds with "Pacman" in three previous fights and hardly came close to a similar result. Sure, you could argue "Dinamita" won each contest, but it was never as clear as the one-punch destruction he brought down last night (Sat., Dec. 8, 2012) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That moment had far-reaching consequences too. It's unlikely now, if it ever was before, that a Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight will ever come to be. If it was on already shaky ground before last night's "Sin City" shocker, it's likely dead in the water now.
And you know what? That's okay.
Marquez helped bring closure to a situation that felt like it would never be resolved. He helped combat sports fans realize there's no longer any need to nurture the hope that there is hope to make Pacquiao vs. Mayweather happen. Yes, it's still a possibility, albeit a long one, but the shine is off the apple.
We would still love to see it, we just no longer need it.
In fact, there may actually be more demand for an unprecedented fifth fight between the Filipino fighting machine and his actual arch nemesis, Marquez. You would think finally reaching a definitive result would squash that talk but this rivalry defies all logic. It cares not for the normal bounds, the usual parameters placed on such things.
The reality here is that Pacquiao vs. Marquez 5 looks more intriguing than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.
And that's okay, more than okay, even. It's downright delectable, and exactly the kind of history we as sports fans should want to be a part of. Instead of wallowing in the despair of losing out on what could have been the biggest fight of all time, let's instead celebrate what has definitely been one of the greatest series of boxing bouts ever.
It deserves our admiration.
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