Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez would be much more dangerous for eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, if their fifth fight eventually happens later this year.
Despite his advanced age of 41 and a heartbreaking split decision setback at the hands of Timothy Bradley, Marquez remains one of the top fighters not only in the welterweight division, but in the sweet sport of boxing. His counterpunching ability along with lengthy experience in the ring is undoubtedly his best weapon when going toe-to-toe against the elites in the business.
In what could be his last year in professional boxing, Marquez has finally opened himself to the greatest challenge of them all. A fight showdown with Pacquiao would settle all the controversies the two ring gladiators have gone through. From their epic first fight to the epic Marquez's sixth round knockout in 2012, the last chapter of their legendary rivalry would surely exceed them all, drawing the attention of every boxing aficionado out there.
Of course, Pacquiao has to settle first his score with reigning WBA Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley, who has improved a lot since clinching a questionable split decision win over the Pacman in June of 2012.
In his last two fights, Bradley survived a slugfest with Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov and eked out a split decision win with Marquez last October. But there's no fight out there that would validate his claim to the WBA belt than the Pacquiao fight.
Fast Forward To The Future
Yes, there's no clear-cut favorite in the match between Pacquiao and Bradley, no matter how controversial the first fight ended up. However, many analysts believed a hungrier and aggressive Pacquiao will be the one fighting on April 12 at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he will be too much for the Desert Storm to tame.
After that, Bob Arum will come up with the expected - a fifth battle between the champion of Mexico and the best Asian fighter of All-time.
Pacquiao, who recently booked a victory against Brandon Rios last November, has repeatedly stressed that another showdown with Marquez is very important. Obviously, the itch to fight Marquez again is stemmed from his intention to redeem himself from the embarrassing TKO loss.
However, no matter how old Marquez currently is, Pacquiao remain in tough position to win against the Dinamita, who claimed he has the blueprint to stop Pacman ever since their third fight.
"You have to match his rhythm," Marquez told Philippine Inquirer in a pre-fight interview building up to Pacquiao-Marquez III. "You have to match his speed with speed, and when he throws punches, you have to counter-punch with the same velocity."
Indeed, Marquez has a point. In the third fight against Pacquiao, Marquez schooled Pacquiao with lightning quick counter shots and terrific footwork that put the Filipino on skate in some occasions. In the fourth rumble, Marquez posed problem to Pacquiao once again, before unleashing overhead cross that sent Pacquiao on deck for minutes.
Should the fifth fight pushes through, Pacquiao has to be aware that an old Marquez is no easy pickings. He probably knows that very well. He should be. Because when all said and done, Marquez will be forever remembered as the waterloo of the great Pacquiao. The antidote to the beast from the Pacific, the dynamite of Mexico.