While fans throughout the world will be watching this Saturday's Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez showdown, a few specific observers will be watching with special interest.
Here are five members of the boxing community who have a lot riding on the outcome of the upcoming fourth Pacquiao-Marquez clash:
This is the most obvious person watching Pacquiao-Marquez with great interest. A win for Pacquiao keeps the ball rolling for a few more fights and gives the Hall of Fame promoter a chance to find a viable monetary replacement for his aging and increasingly distracted cash cow. A loss for Pacquiao sends the entire operation into free fall and some creative matchmaking and promotion will be required to keep the Filipino icon at the top of the boxing scene after back-to-back defeats. As testament to his promotional genius, though, the aged power broker will come out on top no matter who has his hand raised at the end of the show.
Bradley, through no fault of his own, found himself on the winning end of a horrible scoring job against Manny Pacquiao. The usually mild-mannered fighter then gave into the pressure of being swept up in the backlash of the controversial decision. What resulted was Bradley vocally lashing out at promoter Bob Arum and hurling the "coward" label at a completely disinterested Manny Pacquiao, who won't even entertain the idea of a rematch at this point. Bradley will be hoping for a shot at the winner of Saturday's bout, but likely pulling for Pacquiao in order to set up a big money return bout down the line. However, if he has burned his bridges with his public statements, he'll be a lonely WBO welterweight champ with no real money to make and a promoter who is not very interested in promoting him.
"Bam Bam" has been lead to believe that he's the next in line for the winner of Pacquiao-Marquez. Obviously, a Pacquiao fight would be the bigger of the two options and the more attractive bout for the young brawler, but Rios wouldn't think twice about taking a Marquez bout, either. For the 26-year-old rising star, Saturday's clash could represent a doorway to true super-stardom and major money.
The five-division world champ and current pound-for-pound kingpin will likely claim that he doesn't plan to watch Saturday's contest and there are plenty of hardcore anti-fans who would also like to believe that Mayweather couldn't care less about Pacquiao. But the truth of the matter is that Mayweather will likely be watching Pacquiao-Marquez IV with great interest. A Pacquiao fight, for as long as it's economically viable, will be in the back of everyone's mind and Mayweather is surely no different. Whether it be for scouting purposes or with the hope that his arch-rival suffers through another loss, "Money" will be watching.
The multi-platinum rapper and upstart boxing promoter will make his promotional debut on Saturday when his fighter, Yuriorkis Gamboa, enters the ring against Michael Farenas on the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard. Aside from that, the main event of the show will also be of significant interest to the hip-hop mogul. 50 Cent has not hidden the fact at all that he wants to be in the Manny Pacquiao business and, possibly, serve as an intermediary for future attempts to make a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. If the recent Twitter beef with Mayweather is real, talks for a mega-bout could be even more difficult than before, but 50 Cent has plenty of confidence in his ability to get the ball moving and plenty of money to make things happen.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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