That dear friends, boxing fanatics, ladies and gentlemen, is the question.
Will Juan Manuel Marquez, once described as a “pee juice drinker” by a visiting foreigner who claimed closeness to Manny Pacquiao, agree to fight the fallen Filipino boxing superhero a fifth time?
That proposed fifth fight, originally a doubtful possibility, caught fire and soared like a rocket, tottered, recovered and went up again, before suddenly drifting out of sight.
Marquez three days ago declared “Four is enough!”
* * *
The Mexican ring great was terse and firm.
He said there’s no use fighting Pacquiao a fifth time.
He said he has nothing more to prove.
He said he had been cheated in his second and third bouts against Pacquiao.
But he has more than erased doubts on his heroic worth with that conclusive, cold-blooded KO conquest in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.
* * *
He was, in short, all his weight in gold when he returned to the arms of his ecstatic countrymen.
What could be more sensational, emphatic than the classic unmasking of a rival who had been gleefully celebrated as the Mexican Executioner?
He returned and was paraded around Mexico, not unlike a conquistador holding up Pacquiao’s head in his triumphant right hand.
* * *
Here at home, there was overall shock coupled with gloom and grief.
Fans were suddenly divided on whether or not Pacquiao should be made to box again.
There was also the instant reassessment of Pacquiao’s tarnished worth.
Countless Pacquiao devotees turned their interest to others.
Like Nonito Donaire Jr. on whom they could try to invest their hopes.
* * *
What has been left of Pacquiao’s worth? That won’t be easy to size up.
But what was rather unnerving was one tabloid headline that tried to sell Pacquiao as dumped garbage.
“Pacquiao, ibinasura ni Marquez,” cried the headline.
That was rather sour, if not truly off-focus.
* * *
Truth is that Marquez had himself doubted Pacquiao’s worth as a rival.
The Mexican could be right:
Beating Pacquao would not add up to his hard-earned legacy.
He has more than proven his point.
But, come to think of it, what’s truly behind Marquez’s sudden decision?
Was he merely playing hard to get?
Was he and his manager Fernando Beltran playing mind games.
Boxing specialist Hermie Rivera smells something fishy. Here, he claims, is the catch:
“Everybody knows there would be an explosion, a scandal if the fifth Marquez-Pacquiao clash pushes through. Keep in mind that the Lance Armstrong scandal exploded after he confessed to Oprah about his hidden drug use throughout his seven-time reign as Tour de France king. Keep in mind that Armstrong’s admission created a monstrous uproar planet-wide, thereby rendering Memo Hernandez et al virtually impotent in pulling off another of his usual stunts (PEDs) racket. Because of the keen interest of various drug agencies, like the Usada and the Wada, we can say there’s a red alert also out there in the boxing world.”
* * *
Boxing man Sydney Hall, last seen by this reporter when Pacquiao stopped Emmanuel Lucero at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, was in town recently.
He said he was sidelining as consultant to Pacquiao. He was livid upon learning of plans to have Marquez and Pacquiao fight in a single card, possibly in Singapore.
“That pee juice drinker has no right seeing action in the same card with Pacquiao” Hall cried.
Well, it’s open knowledge that Marquez also used to drink his own urine while training for a big fight.
Will Marquez agree to a blood test or pee into a test tube if and when a fifth encounter with Pacquiao pushes through.
To be or not to pee?
Hermie Rivera knows the naughty reply.