Sounds a bit gay but bear with me...
Pacquiao is the best thing that ever happened to Marquez because their fights gave Marquez a chance to showcase his superb boxing skills to a much bigger audience. MAB and EM didn't fight him befre Pac probably because they viewed it as a high risk, low reward kind of fight (feel free to educate me with this point). Sure he has great wins over Casamayor, Diaz and MAB and no doubt those wins solidify his PFP status, but it's mainly because of his 2 incredibly close fights with Pacquaio that JMM is getting all this attention. With every Pacman victory, the legend of JMM grows as well, and it's getting him the big fights he truly does deserve.
For Pacquiao, no doubt that his loss to Morales was a career defining one, becuase it signaled the end of the one sided Pac and the birth to a HOF level 2 handed whirlwind. But I believe that it was his 2nd fight with JMM that brought about his ascent to an ATG. Why? Because Freddie Roach said so
“… Something clicked after Marquez (in March of last year). He’s a more-complete fighter. Everything we’ve worked on is coming into play.”
And so far, Freddie has been spot on with everything he has said, we all thought Freddie was high when he said Pac would stop DLH. But he did, we all thought that when he said Hatton wouldn't last more than 3 rounds that we was just doing his bit to promote the fight. Hatton didn't even last 2 rounds. Freddie calls it as he sees it, and he sees very very well indeed.
When I look back to PAc JMM 2 now, I can see what he means.
I thought JMM won that fight(but I'm no expert so if the judges scored it otherwise, I'll bow to their better knowledge), and when you see Pac's reaction to the decision, it looked to me that he was a bit surprised with the outcome as well, as if some small part of him wasn't sure if he did enough to win. And maybe, because of that Pac realized he can still be beat and because of that, he has worked that much harder to make sure that he doesn't come close to losing again. And so far, he has performed almost perfectly against a game LW champion and 2 HOFers, all in higher weight classes.
And I think Pacman should thank JMM for bringing out the best in him.
Long post, sorry about that. Peace.