Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pacquiao vs Marquez - On the Outside Looking Out

The past 72 hours have been great for boxing. Some have said that one fighter won a popularity contest, another won the actual fight but as a whole, the sport took one to the liver. 
The topic is still white hot, but the fact that we just can't seem to let it go is what is occupying the driver's seat for the time being. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao now stand at the opposite ends of a tripwire that is far from its thunderous and final crash.

The decision reached at the conclusion of the third epic bout of their legendary trilogy has reached a fever pitch for many boxing fans. What has angered us more? The outcome itself or the individuals who accorded jointly in opinion and ruined the evening for Marquez and his legions of loyal fans?

This is the arduous reality that would steer many away from ever considering a career as a boxing judge. The triumvirate who serve as the final say where fighters leave off have a rough job.

Do you ever wonder why you often see many of the same community of judges for bouts, especially at the championship level? Likewise, the same flock of referees are often introduced as the third person in the ring. It goes without saying that we've all seen our fair share of ripoff decisions and inadequate officiating. However, it is very likely that the two aforementioned scenarios happen less often than we would like to accept, at least in professional terms.

It's a regular occurrence that we see a mega fight as a boxing judge's first assignment .Their task is not an easy one. They are asked to look at aspects of a fight that we as fans don't notice at times. A fighter's ability to absorb a hard punch, smile at his opponent and signal for more can routinely gain cheers and sometimes jeers. It doesn't always achieve the same result with the three-headed monster positioned just right outside the canvas. We can frequently see them leaning upon it.

They are viewing the action as an assignment, a job and a livelihood. We do so as entertainment and fans of the greatest sport on the planet.

The adage "styles make fights" may be as old as organized boxing. This is true. Styles do make fights, although we don't always consider this when we play matchmaker. The painful truth is that where styles, fights and fighters cease, the judges are left to decide what fists could not in their allotted time in the ring.

Regardless of where Marquez and Pacquiao go from this point is a matter of indifference to those who feel the deal is still not done. The only way to go may be for these two to fight for a fourth time or for their separate ways to commence on islands of pugilism worlds away from one another.

Why couldn't they just meet up again and again?

Archie Moore fought Howard King six times. Walker Smith (aka Sugar Ray Robinson) fought Gene Fullmer four times. We may never hear the end of the Marquez/Pacquiao debate until one side soundly trumps the other in a way that is so memorable and final that the argument can be buried at sea. Sadly but gloriously, their styles are made for each other. They need each other.

The Pac Man and the Money Man may face one day, but each passing month leaves the prospect of a matchup between them growing stale like a bag of bad potato chips.

No matter how often the four knockdowns, back and forth struggles and feelings of indignation are mentioned, it's likely to be an affair that won't soon die. Maybe it should stay that way. Ask any boxing fan aged 35 and up whom they feel was the true winner of the 1987 clash between Marvin Hagler and Ray Leonard.

Would you like this type of eternal bickering for Marquez and Pacquiao? Perhaps it will remain as it is or maybe we will see them one more time.
One thing is for certain. The judges will be there, so please be on alert.

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