MANILA, Philippines - There was no way Manny Pacquiao could lose to Juan Manuel Marquez, because doing so will jeopardize what will potentially be the biggest fight in boxing history, according to ESPN sports analyst Jemele Hill.
In their trilogy bout last Saturday in Las Vegas, Pacquiao defeated his rival Marquez via a majority decision, but his victory has been roundly criticized and debated.
But ESPN's Hill said there was no way Pacquiao could have lost the fight, because doing so will mean that a potential mega-fight against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be pulled off the table.
"Let me take the conspiracy even further, and say, come on, did you think there was any way Manny Pacquiao was gonna lose this fight?... Come on, the fix was in," Hill said in ESPN's First Take.
She added that there was no way the sport would jeopardize a potential $300-$400 million fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather.
"I'm just saying, that put it this way. Marquez said afterward, not only did I have to fight Pacquiao, I had to fight the judges too. You also had to fight $300 or $400 million as well," Hill said. "That's not gonna be jeopardized because of this fight."
ESPN analyst Skip Bayless said Pacquiao may have used the fight against Marquez as a way to "lure Floyd out of hiding."
"(Pacquiao) took a few shots just to say, 'Oh watch this, oh I take this one,'" Bayless said. "And Floyd Mayweather would finally say, 'Oh maybe I do have a shot here.'"
Hill agreed with Bayless' assessment, saying, "Floyd prefers to fight fighters where he thinks he has a significant edge, and he pounded Marquez before."
"That's what most of the Mayweather fans are pointing at... (Pacquiao) looked a little vulnerable, more so than he had been before," she added.
Mayweather routed Marquez in 12 rounds when they fought in 2009.