It's not easy to go head-to-head with a legend. The UFC found that out the hard way last night when it's very good UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz broadcast was utterly out-shined by an incredible Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 4.
While the UFC aired four very good fights on Fox, Pacquiao and Marquez put on a bout for the ages. While the PPV numbers won't match the 3 million + viewers who tuned in to watch the UFC for free, the post-fight attention is overwhelmingly following the stunning knock out that may have ended Manny Pacquiao's career as a top boxer.
However, Juan Manuel Marquez' long-awaited victory over Pacquiao (his first in four storied bouts) will also be remembered as the fight that killed the dream of a once-in-a-generation super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Here's Kevin Iole on the topic:
Marquez has been among the world's elite fighters for at least the past 15 years, but he's been forced to take a backseat, first to Mexican stars such as Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales and later to Pacquiao.
Few fighters were as skilled and technically sound, but he didn't capture the imagination of the fans the way his rivals did.
But on Saturday, when he ended a sensational back-and-forth battle in which both men had been hurt and hit the canvas, they were jubilantly on his side.
There is no word on what Pacquiao may do next, but the sad news is that the dreams of a mega-fight with Mayweather fizzled away as Pacquiao laid knocked out face first on the mat.
That one punch ended eight years of frustration for one man while destroying the dream of a fight that should have been made but was not.
Meanwhile, the UFC continued to bedevil nervous Fox execs as challenger Nate Diaz repeatedly flipped the bird at champion Ben Henderson, forcing the Fox TV crew to cut to shots of the Octagon as seen from the top of the arena.
Boxing may have lost a potential super fight last night, but it remains top dog in combat sports.