Manny Pacquiao must knock out perennial rival Juan Manuel Marquez or win impressively at the very least when they collide on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada
A very impressive win or a stunning knockout victory over the Mexican counter-puncher is necessary for Pacquiao to negotiate with potential foe Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on equal footing.
Aside from being the undisputed king of pay-per-view (PPV), Mayweather is unbeaten in his professional career. This gives him an upper hand in determining the percentage of share each one gets in what appears to be the biggest and most lucrative fight in boxing history.
Anything added to Pacquiao's reign as the only boxer in history to win in eight different weight classes will boost his credential to face Mayweather in the negotiating table. A knockout win over Marquez will surely give him that legitimacy.
The potential super fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is projected to generate more than $200 million in fight revenues, including PPV sales and gate receipts.
Both fighters are in the peak of their careers and they know that the financial rewards from the fight of this magnitude is just mind-boggling.
Critics say Pacquiao and Mayweather will do everything possible to face each other in the ring no later than 2013. On top of the prestige and accolades that await the winner, they say the financial rewards are just too much for them to ignore.
But Pacquiao will find it hard to negotiate with Mayweather on equal footing if he does not perform well against Marquez. Anything beyond a KO win will make his presence in the negotiating table untenable or uncomfortable, at the very least.
So what should the Filipino boxing superstar do to put an end to the eight years of Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry?
Boxer Manny Pacquiao being interviewed after working out in preparation for Timothy Bradley
Boxing insiders say Pacquiao has still the speed and power he had when he demolished top opponents who are much bigger than him.
Antonio Margarito and Oscar De La Hoya are way too big for him when he trashed both of them for a very impressive win. He was also impressive with Miguel Cotto who is a middleweight fighter.
Pacquiao and Marquez should be tailored for each other because they are of almost the same height, weight and build.
But why is Pacquiao having a hard time with Marquez?
Critics say Marquez has Pacquiao's numbers which simply means the Mexican has mastered Pacquiao's fighting style by watching their previous fight videos and devising counterattacks with the help of his trainer.
After their first fight in 2004, the next two fights were close, prompting Marquez to cry foul with fight officiating, telling the public he was robbed of victory in all three fights.
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach has tried and failed to neutralize Marquez's counterattacks, particularly in his last two fights, which Roach has acknowledged.
But the real reason for Pacquiao's lackluster performance since beating Cotto in 2009 is actually his lack of concentration while training.
Too much distraction at the training camp, his time-consuming Bible study and pressures from work as a neophyte politician, have taken their toll on the Filipino champ.
Roach is confident, though, that Pacquiao will bounce back as he prepares for a full training camp at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, free of distractions and political pressures.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com