When Top Rank put together a fourth helping of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez rivalry, many were disappointed. Not because it probably wouldn't be a good fight, but because of general fatigue over the matchup. Give us something fresh, many said.
Of course, the first three fights between the great rivals were excellent -- rousing battles at the highest level of boxing that were competitive and compelling. And even though Pacquiao led 2-0-1, all three decisions were highly controversial and could have gone either way.
So when they did meet Dec. 8 in a welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, expectations were for another exciting fight even if it hadn't been the fans' top choice of a match for either man. That hardly matters now, however, because their fourth fight -- rounds 37-42 of an historical series -- turned out to be the best of the bunch.