Manny Pacquiao had nothing to gain and everything to lose last night, when he stepped into the ring against Juan Manuel Marquez.
After 3 previous fights with Marquez that ended in 2 decision wins for Pacquiao and a draw, his legacy would gain absolutely nothing with another victory over the same opponent. Despite the fact that some people questioned the scoring in his first two wins, they'll still go down in history as another check mark in the "W" column.
If he were to lose to Marquez, after giving him a 4th crack at him, it would be Pacquiao's second loss in a row, and could effectively remove Pacquiao from the "pound for pound champ" discussion.
As it turns out, that's exactly what happened.
Pacquiao got knocked out cold in the 6th round of last night's fight, which was the worst possible result in terms of his legacy and perhaps for boxing as a whole.
Now, Pacquiao's wins over Marquez are nearly immaterial. Yes, they're still wins, but a couple controversial decisions can't compare to the incredible stoppage by Marquez last night. Despite having only a 1-2-1 record in their four fights, Marquez is now in the driver's seat.
The much-anticipated superfight between Macquiao and Floyd Mayweather? Forget about it. There was a time when it could have been the biggest fight in boxing history.
Granted, it would still be a huge pay-per-view draw. But if Pacquiao was holding out for a 50-50 split of the purse, he's going to be waiting an awful long time. Right now, Mayweather could justifiably demand an 80-20 split, thanks to Pacquiao's rapidly falling star.
With consecutive losses under his belt to Timothy Bradley and now Marquez, Pacquiao's future is up in the air.
Will he call it quits? Trainer Freddie Roach says that's an option, along with potentially a 5th fight against Marquez.
It might be that time. Pacquiao turns 34 in a week, and has already started to branch out into politics and music. He has 60 professional fights under his belt, and has held major world titles in 6 different weight classes.
Pacquiao's legacy is a great one, and probably won't get any better at this point. It might be time for him to walk off into the sunset while he still can.