Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will step into sacred ground when they meet for the third time.
Only the Great Ones have been special enough for a Boxing Trilogy – the conversation starts with Ali and Frazier.
But there have been a few tandems that sneak into the conversation – Holyfield-Bowe comes to mind as does Leonard-Duran.
But does Pacquiao-Marquez III deserve such adoration?
The answer, even without the third fight yet to be fought, is a resounding yes.
Pacquiao and Marquez have been at the top of their game for each confrontation. And each fight not only left fight fans wanting more but feuding over just who won.
Pacquiao won the first. The second was a draw. Pacquiao says he won both. Marquez says he won both.
This third and final, as both say, will answer all the questions.
Let’s take a look at some of the more notable Boxing Trilogies…
Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier
Ali and Frazier is the duo fight fans constantly refer to. Their bouts, if not their careers, define boxing. Their confrontations were brutal and poetic and comparing other bouts to this trilogy is indeed a massive complement.
Marco Antonio Barrera versus Erik Morales
The first encounter between these Mexican legends was thrilling. The second bout couldn’t live up to it but they made up for it in the third fight. The only downer to this trilogy was that none of the bouts were 15 rounds. These warriors deserved to go a full 15 rounds.
Riddick Bowe versus Evander Holyfield
The heavyweights. They threw bombs, took big shots and thrilled fight fans. Not even Fan Man could have ruined any of these bouts. Holyfield’s endurance and granite chin during these bouts proved he belonged with the Big Guys.
Muhammad Ali versus Ken Norton
Norton still says he won all three fights.
Ali won with a broken jaw. Norton tested Ali like no other opponent, other than Frazier. And that is saying something.
“Sugar” Ray Leonard versus Roberto Duran
Again, two all-time greats.
The first two bouts were captivated the world and did so for different reasons.
The first bout needed little hype – USA Olympian against the rugged brawler.
Leonard went the full 15 rounds with Duran, who was at his beastly best. There were no knockdowns but Leonard took a beating. It was Duran at his very best.
The second bout captivated the world because of the abrupt ending. Duran uttered the infamous words…’No Mas.’
Duran quit because Leonard boxed and moved, Duran couldn’t catch him cleanly. And Then there were the taunts, Leonard knew he had the bout and he begged Duran to come forward. When Duran did, Leonard tagged him with a jab.
Duran turned his back in disgust. Duran was never the same.
The third fight probably didn’t need to happen. There were no fireworks, no sharp exchanges.
But the first two will never be forgotten.
And Pacquiao vs. Marquez? Will this trilogy be remembered forever?
Contact me with questions or comments.