One of the many things that fuels any sport is rivalries. Be it Yankees-Red Sox, Cowboys-Redskins, Federer-Nadal, Heat-Pacers, or whatever, rivalries are often capable of uplifting an entire sport. Boxing is no different and we have seen many throughout the years that have probably had us off of the couch more than once and had us talking about it for sometime years on end. With that in mind and a little research I submit that the Marquez-Pac rivalry has been the best in boxing ever, even without a fifth romp. No disrespect to Ali-Frazier, SRR-Lamotta, Langford-Wills,Gatti-Ward, Arizmendi-Armstrong, and a few others. Here is why:

1. A little known fact is that it almost didn't happen. The ref for the fight said that after the third knockdown he considered stopping the fight. He said that Marquez's nose looked like a mushroom and he was almost sure that it was broken. However, he said that Marquez's eyes were clear so he let Juan continue. If the rep stops that fight, Marquez's and Manny's careers are drastically different.

2. Controversy in each fight. The first 3 fights you have controversy in the decisions. All of them were ridiculously close. You can are everything from 3-0 for each fighter to 1-1-1 to 0-3. In the fourth fight, although not as big a controversy, the cloud of a behemoth Marquez with Angel Heredia around has made alot of people raise an eye. Add that to the fact that Marquez has landed that punch several times before and it never cleaned anyone's clock like that one did.

3. All fights took place in or near their respective primes. Some rivalries in our sport lost their luster towards the end because one or both of the combatants had faded in their ability.

4. In three of the four fights, there was a strap on the line.

5. Genuine dislike. I think anytime you have some hatred you get a better rivalry. I think there is more dislike from Marquez's side, but nonetheless some from both fighters.

I have a few other reasons but I have found that the collective intelligence on this site often explains things better than I do so I will leave that info for others to bring up. So TSS, has the Doc provided a misdiagnosis or is he spot on? What say you?