COMMENTARY | The upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight is one of the biggest matches of the year. As everyone discusses what might happen during the bout, including myself pondering who the judges may favor, another topic worth considering is the aftermath of the fight. What if Manny Pacquiao loses to Juan Manuel Marquez?
Here are several different potential outcomes which could result from Pacquiao losing to Marquez on December 8.
Strap In For Pacquiao vs. Marquez V
One strong possibility is that Pacquiao and promoter Top Rank simply decide to continue the series. Why go out on a losing note? Even though Pacquiao would still have a 2-1-1 edge in the rivalry, he'd forever be the guy who lost the final battle. That means that Marquez would get the last laugh and finish with the upper hand, and it's not something that would sit well with Team Pacquiao.
In comparison, it's worth reviewing the last high level four-fight series in boxing, the rivalry between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez. When they fought for the fourth time in 2010, Marquez scored a decisive victory which brought the series to an even 2-2. Vazquez, despite winning two of the three first fights, was viewed as the heavy underdog in that fight, as the wear and tear of all of his bloody battles had been too much.
Already holding the decisive 2-1 edge in the trilogy, there was little reason for Vazquez to even take the fight besides cashing out. Which he did, promptly retiring following a one-sided loss in fight 4. Further, even though the series ended up even, it's still widely viewed that Vazquez was the victor of the trilogy, and the three fights that mattered.
The circumstances here are quite different. Pacquiao will retain the numeric edge in the rivalry regardless of what happens. But with both fighters still considered to be close to their best, and with Pacquiao as the favorite in the fight, a loss would damage his standing greatly, and would nullify the edge he had.
That would only precipitate the addition of yet another chapter in this story. And with the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry being so lucrative for all parties, it's not as if anybody would really need their arms twisted to sign up for Fifth and Finally: Pacquiao vs. Marquez 5 on May 4, 2013.
Officially Write Off a Mayweather Fight
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather missed the boat. They should have fought two years ago, and they blew that opportunity, squandering a chance to put together the biggest fight of their generation.
There's still a slim chance that the two could end up meeting, even though the fight wouldn't have quite the same level of appeal as it would have then... but only if Pacquiao wins. If Pacquiao loses to Marquez, you can officially say goodbye to any chance of seeing Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Both the money and the significance of the fight would greatly be reduced, rendering it entirely unlikely to ever occur.
Would Pacquiao Retire?
Pacquiao already has plans to walk away from the ring in the near future. His burgeoning political career is going strong, and there has already been talk of a presidential run in 2022. From poor kid to pound for pound champion to President of the Philippines... not a bad journey.
A loss to Marquez here could accelerate his exit from the sport. Consider that Pacquiao is coming off the controversial outcome of his fight against Timothy Bradley. This would be two defeats in a row, and it's likely that the scoring could be hotly contested with such close action between these two fighters.
If Pacquiao believes he was on the wrong end of a second straight fight which he deserved to win, he could lose his taste for boxing. What would be the point in continuing for him, and where would he find his motivation? He's accomplished everything there is to accomplish, and a loss, particularly a disputed defeat, could simply be a signal to wrap things up for good.
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com, where you can find breaking news stories, interviews, rankings and more. You can also follow Jake and ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.