Thanks, Next Media Animation, for rendering much of this blog post redundant. That's quality coverage -- Mitt Romney's losing stink infected Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao lost because he loves cockfighting and women and has the wrong religion and doesn't train hard enough, etc.
We've already had plenty to say about the past weekend: My stories on Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez 4 that night, on the undercard, and the next day; Jeff Pryor's view; a note on the replay schedule from Alex McClintock; Andrew Harrison's take on James DeGale's win; Joseph R. Holzer's take on the NBC Sports card; my write-up of Mikkel Kessler's win; and Mark Ortega's ringside coverage of a couple cards, although one of them kicked off the weekend more than it was part of it.
But damn if weekends like this past one don't leave the boxing world with plenty to talk about for days afterward. Eat it, Taiwanese animators! We can discuss what's next for both Pacquiao and Marquez at length, or offer reflection on Marquez and the performance enhancing drug suspicions, or what's next for Yuriorkis Gamboa, better than any silly 1:42 YouTube clip.
Next for Marquez. Marquez said he might retire, and it would be hard to think of a more fitting career finale than for him to have gone out with the win over Pacquiao that he's been chasing for what feels like his entire career. Thing is, he could make gobs of money with Marquez-Pacquiao 5, and that kind of cash is hard for fighters to turn down. As a fan, I'm more interested in him facing Brandon Rios, and Rios' team is interested in it, too, because as I've mentioned before, I am not generally not as interested in rematches of fights where one person so conclusively defeats the other. Chris John is talking about trying to get a Marquez rematch, too, but that's ridiculous since John has stayed at featherweight and Marquez has moved as high as welterweight. If Marquez-Pacquiao 5 does happen, it won't be until after the spring, and it would force Top Rank to make Rios-Mike Alvarado II, which is a fight I wouldn't kick out of bed.
Next for Pacquiao. Pacquiao's family really wants him to retire, and watching Jinkee freak out ringside as her husband lay unconscious felt almost too voyeuristic, and makes it hard to blame her. I'm conflicted over cameras showing such scenes; obviously, it's part of the story, and it's dramatic, to say the least, and it's not that I'm opposed to broadcasters covering some of the less appetizing aspects of the sport. But it feels gratuitous, sometimes, cheap, invasive. Anyway, Pacquiao has talked as though he's down for another Marquez rematch, his promoter Bob Arum is drooling uncontrollably at the notion while his coach Freddie Roach -- who has had an awful year, with all of his guys losing all the time in 2012 -- is more open-minded to advising retirement if it looks to him like Pacquiao is finished after such a big knockout, and I think he's the one with the best perspective on this: Maybe Pacquiao should fight again, or maybe he shouldn't. Rushing into a rematch or retirement isn't wise either way. I'd maybe like to see Pacquiao take an easy fight just to get a sense of what's left, but he's too big of a one-man business to invest much money in a fight like that when Pacquiao-Marquez 5 would do as much bank as it would, I'm afraid.
The business of Pacquiao-Marquez. And this rivalry does do business. It sold out and had the second highest live boxing gate of 2012. Apparently Pacquiao-Marquez 4 is tracking to do better than Pacquiao-Marquez 3 in pay-per-view buys, and while that's the kind of "It's tracking to be a huge!" thing promoters say all the time, they at least provided some specifics on why they believe that. And I'm inclined to agree with Arum that Pacquiao-Marquez 5 is now a bigger fight than Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, in part because no one will believe Pacquiao-Mayweather is competitive anymore. Mayweather-Saul Alvarez is also probably bigger than Pacquiao-Mayweather. I'm not sure that's anything to celebrate; Pacquiao-Mayweather likely would've been the richest fight of all time, and now it's spoiled. Not that I had high hopes it would happen after two failed negotiation sessions years ago.
Marquez and PEDS. No worries on the PED thing, Marquez said -- he expect he'll pass his Nevada State Athletic Commission drug tests. Duh. It's just urine. Of course he'll pass it; even if he was juicing, his strength coach is a former BALCO chemist who has bragged of beating the most sophisticated tests. Marquez also said he would take advanced tests next time, which is good of him to offer and all, but I'll believe it when it happens, considering his promoter opposes any kind of testing other than state-administered tests. For those looking for reasons to believe Marquez wasn't juicing -- and I really hope he wasn't -- Pacquiao said he didn't notice any significant additional punching power from Marquez. I wonder if that's Pacquiao being the ultimate no-excuses sportsman, or if his brain was still rattled, because Marquez had never dropped Pacquiao, not even once, prior to Pacquiao-Marquez 4, and verifiably had never been knocked out cold by him. The CT scan came back OK, though.
Pacquiao's preparation. Some, including everybody's friends at NMA, have made a fuss about Pacquiao training two months vs. Marquez training four months. I do think Pacquiao ought to have trained a bit more, and I'm soley basing that off Roach wanting him to have reported to camp earlier and Roach knowing his fighter better than me. But four months is pretty long by industry standards; more doesn't always equal better. Anyway, Marquez didn't seem to have overtrained, based on that performance, and I suspect Pacquiao could've used more time in camp. For as much as athletes thank God for their wins, it is awfully entertaining to hear Pacquiao's mother explain that the problem was him switching from Catholic to Protestant. Funny that being a Protestant made him devote too much time to his faith, according to Momma Pacman, yet God didn't make sure he won that fight. It's entertaining because I am entertained by true facts.
The rest. Naturally Mayweather had to exploit this opportunity to say something dickish about Pacquiao's success being due to "piggybacking" off of his own, and making it look like he was respectful of Pacquiao when he clearly was fronting, since he was praising both mens' performances despite acknowledging that he hadn't seen them. Leave it to Mayweather to be phony about being nice, then nasty while pretending to be nice... Junior lightweight Yuriokis Gamboa still wants lightweight Adrien Broner, despite his lackluster performance on the Marquez-Paquiao 4 undercard, but my old favorite fighter really ought not pursue that fight just now. Juan Manuel Lopez might overestimate how desirable the long-coveted Lopez-Gamboa battle remains, but I'd still far rather see that, and think Gamboa is wrong about the ship having COMPLETELY sailed off. Both men are coming off a shaky period, including long layoffs, and would probably still make a very fun little scrap of it... Featherweight Javier Fortuna reportedly injured his shoulder during the Patrick Hyland fight on the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 undercard. I wish he had injured it during one of the numerous occasions he was punching Hyland after the bell, the prick... There's a new batch of ratings out from the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board reflecting a lot of this past weekend's fights. I encourage you to peruse them... A couple members of Pacquiao's team, including the oft-slimy Michael Koncz and the usually amiable Buboy Fernandez, stand accused of attacking a photographer trying to get pictures of Pacquiao post-knockout. They are acting like, and sound like, and look like, they are guilty as sin. Seems to me they deserve fines and/or suspensions from the state of Nevada, and to be fired by Pacquiao. Below is just one photograph from the sequence capturing it.