The reason Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez needed to fight on four separate occasions is because fans felt like each of the first three matches left too many unanswered questions. Their initial draw was scored incorrectly. Their middle fights, both of which Pacquiao won by decision, were too close to call. Heading into this past December, all spectators wanted was to see a bout end in definitive fashion.
Marquez was able to earn a victory over his rival by way of a stunning knockout with one second remaining in the sixth round. Prior to that ridiculous punch, he was losing the fight on every single judge’s scorecard.
After the match, there were no debates. Marquez was the better man on the eve of Dec. 8. That is the beauty of knockouts – they leave zero room for interpretation.
As of Dec. 9, the record in Pacquiao-Marquez stood as follows: Pacquiao-2, Marquez-1. With one more victory, Marquez could legitimately call himself Pacquiao’s equal. One win could be dismissed as a fluke – two couldn't.
Unfortunately, Marquez seems to want no part of another bout against Pacquiao. Over the past month, in a series of interviews, the 39-year-old star has consistently maintained that he sees no reason to fight Pacquiao again. Apparently his legacy isn’t all that important to him. Worse yet, now his blatant ducking is being endorsed by the president of the World Boxing Council, Jose Sulaiman.
"Juan Manuel is a great fighter who won a lot of money and became famous, and fought with several big names including Manny Pacquiao. Undoubtedly with that last victory over Pacquiao, it has taken his career to an immeasurable height, and it is the culmination of a great career for a young Mexican who is 39-years-old and has a very nice family. In my opinion, he should hang up the gloves," Sulaiman told Boxing Scene recently.
"Juan Manuel, he can walk away after knocking out someone who they were calling 'the best fighter in the world.' I'm just giving friendly advice. For what does [he need a fifth fight], it's just to make money. The money is a short-term plan, but at 39-years-old with a very beautiful family - you are raising the level of risk to your health. When you're young it does not matter, but when you are more advanced in age it can be dangerous.
"My recommendation to Juan Manuel is sincere, respectful, and affectionate. I recommend to everyone [in his position]. I know his family, he is an idol in Mexico, but what you have to look at is his age and one bad punch can remove the happiness from his life in the future. There is no point [to keep fighting], is what I mean."
If Marquez wants to retire for the sake of health – more power to him. Boxing fans should always endorse fighters hanging up their gloves too early rather than too late. But it’s also important not to endorse false ideas. The notion that there is ‘no point’ for Marquez to keep fighting is pure nonsense. There is a point. The point is to prove that he can beat Pacquiao twice, just like Pacquiao previously beat him twice. (And would have beat him three times, had the first match been scored correctly.)
Marquez has a very good reason to keep fighting. The idea that there is ‘no point’ is stupid.