Here in the Potato Nation we don’t take time to discuss boxing all too often. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring you HBO’s behind-the-scenes look at the next chapter of a rivalry that is already one of boxing’s greatest of all time.
On December 8th, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will fight one another for the fourth time in eight years. And no, this isn’t one of those boxing promoter scams where the same decrepit guys get rolled out in wheelchairs to fight one another, over and again, long after interest has died in the match up. Pacquiao and Marquez fill two of the top three pound-for-pound spots in boxing, in this writer’s opinion, and their first three fights have left fans clamoring for a fourth.
As episode 1 of this 24/7 documentary mini-series shows with footage and round-by-round analysis from the fighters, coaches and even a judge, all three fights were extremely close and could have gone one of three ways — a win for either man or a draw, as the first one did in May 2004. Since then, Pacquiao has gotten the nods, with a split-decision in 2008 and a majority decision last year.
Does Marquez, nearing 40, still have what it takes to push Pacquiao as much or more than we’ve seen anyone do in the past eight years or so? Will Pacquiao finally be able to finish Marquez — as he is, uncharacteristically, saying he will this time — and has Pac’s controversial loss to Timothy Bradley given him extra motivation to put on a brilliant performance in his return?
Only fight night will reveal the answers to those questions. For now, we’re having a lot of fun watching the lead-up.