Micah Curtis - For the Daily Union
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
There are points in combat sports that change the entire landscape of the business. When Foreman knocked out Frasier, when Buster Douglas defeated Mike Tyson, and now when Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, in their fourth meeting.
Each fight between the two fighters had been incredibly competitive, and their bout on Saturday was no exception. Both sides saw the other hit the canvas from good shots going into the sixth round.
However, it was a counter right hand from Marquez that changed the face of boxing for the foreseeable future. For the first time since 1999, Manny Pacquaio had his lights shut off, dropping to the canvas like a sack of potatoes.
From a business standpoint, there was one bout that the sport of boxing needed to make two years ago, and that was Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. The bout had the potential of being this generation’s version of Ali/Frasier.
Contract negotiations always seemed to go sour whenever Mayweather and Pacquiao tried to agree on the earnings. As the bout stayed in limbo, each fighter tried to stay active. Such things bring risks, as Manny found out.
After losing a split decision to Timothy Bradley (a decision many thought to be bogus), the luster of Manny vs. Floyd faded. That particular fire could have been re-kindled had Pacquiao defeated Marquez this past Saturday. However, history is proven that there is no such thing as a set ending in combat sports. The earth saw that this past Saturday.
Going forward, boxing as a sport is going to need to find new stars if the sport is going to keep going strong. Many big fights don’t seem to include younger fighters. Significant fighters such as the Klitschco brothers or David Haye seem to fly completely under the radar, despite their talents.
As it stands, any dreams of seeing Mayweather and Pacquiao fight seem to have crumbled, like Manny’s jaw did at the hands of Marquez.