Oh how fortunes and the fate of two fighters seem to shift. How in an instant, via KO punch from your age old rival can the likelihood of a 100+ million dollar prizefight twist and turn slowly down the drain; quite possible for good.
Manny Pacquiao will continue his career in China against former WBA lightweight title holder Brandon Rios, in a bout far less star studded and far less glued to the collective consciousness of the mainstream world at large. While Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez come together for the biggest fight of the last six and a half years, The man once considered by the boxing world as Mayweather kryptonite, Manny Pacquiao will look to rebuild what has been quite frankly a less than stellar 2012. After losing a controversial fight against fellow P4P staple Timothy Bradley Jr., he sought to settle the score once and for all against his rival and fellow future hall of fame bound legend Juan Manuel Marquez. The hope of a Mayweather fight was fresh on the minds and "want lists" of boxing fans across the board; if anything else we wanted to see the fight just to satisfy any remaining superficial interest. However Juan Manuel Marquez had other ideas as he sparked his Filipino rival flat on the canvas in front of the world.
In that moment Manny Pacquiao let his potential 100 million dollar lottery ticket blow away with the wind and down the sewer. He no longer had a case as to why he was the man to break Floyd Mayweather's undefeated streak, to do what many have tried but to no avail.
Rumors of disinterest and overall physical decline have followed since the knockout defeat. In Macau, Manny has to prove that not only were those cries of doubt and erosion premature and or widely exaggerated, but that he is still the only man who can beat Floyd. If Floyd beats Canelo, Manny Pacquiao could quite possibly lift himself back into the conversation. Top Rank and Golden Boy hate each other, but if Floyd dominates this Saturday and Manny dominates Rios in November, we might have life in this now dead body of a super fight after all.
For now however, "The One" should have been Mayweather-Pacquiao, with all due respect to the young rising mega star from Guadalajara. This was Manny Pacquiao's moment, his time to cement his legacy against Floyd who should be cementing his against Manny. This was the stage, publicity, gate figure, record, and revenue stream the left the Philippine hero behind.
This is a huge fight, just imagine how even bigger it would have been with Top Rank and Golden Boy fighters coming together from the top of the card to bottom.