By Tom Gray
"The only reason I would write a sequel is if I were struck by an idea that I felt to be equal to the original. Too many sequels diminish the original."
Rocky 1, 2, 3 and 4. The Godfather I & 2. The Terminator 1 & 2. Die Hard 1, 2 and With A Vengeance. If you like your movies, as much as you like your boxing, then you’ll notice that each of the franchises listed, are missing one, or more, sequels.
What do all of the missing sequels have in common?
It’s a matter of taste, but for this reporter, they were all garbage.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez produced three high octane blockbusters between 2004 and 2011. Everyone loved the action, we ate our popcorn, whopped and hollered but nobody could agree on the ending.
On Saturday past in a rare, but undeniably brilliant Part 4, the air of discontent was over. An eight year odyssey was complete and, for once, nobody could argue about how this particular Hollywood ending should be perceived.
Manny Pacquiao was down and out, on the end of a supersonic right hand, and Juan Manuel Marquez celebrated in unison with his Mexican brethren. Still, how long did it take promoters and fans alike to request yet another sequel? About as long as it took Manny Pacquiao to get up.
Below are five reasons why Part 5 is a sequel that we do not need to see.
1. Oh Not Again
What if Part 5 happens to produce yet another controversial decision? Part 6? The fight on Saturday was two all-time greats going at it in a classic toe to toe slug fest which set the sport on fire. You won’t see that again. Why? Because Freddie Roach is now fully aware that attacking Marquez like a devil dog wearing shades is not a recipe for success. Marquez is one of the best counter punchers in boxing history and that has now been rubber stamped. Part 5 will likely be a tactical affair which will ruin the aesthetic of a legendary conclusion. Would Ali vs. Frazier IV have bettered the Thrilla in Manila? I rest my case.
2. Shoe On The Other Foot
Let’s be honest about this. If Manny had rendered El Dinamita unconscious with a left hand bomb would there be cries for Part 5? No! Bob Arum would have enjoyed his birthday cake a whole lot more, Freddie Roach would have autographed Nacho Beristain’s official fight programme and Pacquiao would have signed on for ten more Jimmy Kimell appearances. Marquez would have been yesterday’s news! The reason Part 4 came to fruition was to, once and for all, produce a decisive result and it did. Sorry if the wrong guy won but c’est la vie.
3. Money Talks
Pacquiao and Marquez have met four times. Marquez and Mayweather have met once. Who hasn’t appeared on the same dance card? The answer is there somewhere but it escapes me. Unapologetic sarcasm but the biggest and most lucrative match up in boxing history has not been made and Saturday could go a long way to making it happen. Pacquiao needs vindication and Mayweather requires a big name opponent for May 4th, right? Don’t believe for a minute that this fight doesn’t sell and don’t believe that the rapid fire Filipino doesn’t present Money Mayweather with a serious threat. If the four part duel between Pacquiao and Marquez taught us anything it is that styles make fights.
4. Every Dog Has Its Day
Brandon Rios is a walking fireworks display and Pacquiao or Marquez versus Bam Bam would be insane. Rios is new blood on the hunt for a super fight and would probably take on Pacquiao and Marquez at the same time, given the chance. Can you imagine Rios on HBO 24/7? That alone is more attractive than Part 5.
5. Equals in History
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are two incredible modern day gladiators, who will be remembered forever, and neither is superior to the other. Pacquiao ends the rivalry 2-1-1 while Marquez finally cements his standing by securing a historic and career defining victory. It doesn’t get any better than that and fighting again will only tarnish the gift that both of them have given us.
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