Juan Manuel Marquez lost to Manny Pacquiao on two separate occasions. If all was right in the world and judges always scored bouts correctly, he would have lost to him on three separate occasions. After each one of Marquez’s defeats, Pacquiao granted him a shot at redemption.
Mind you, the Filipino star didn’t have to dispense rematches like they were candy to the one guy whose style was perfectly suited to stifle his own. But he did so anyway.
This past December, Marquez finally earned his first victory over Pacquiao in four tries. He did so in extremely dramatic fashion – knocking the former eight division champ out with a second remaining in the sixth round.
In the immediate aftermath of that bout, Pacquiao made it clear that he wanted a chance at redeeming himself. Against the advice of family, friends and medical professionals, he didn’t hesitate in asking his rival for the same privilege that he had previously granted.
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Marquez’s reply: no.
Just days after his promoter, Fernando Beltran, came out and essentially agreed to set up a fifth Pacquiao fight, Marquez came out and told reporters that he wasn’t interested in giving the fans what they want.
"I think for me there is no point [in a fifth fight]. We already achieved the desired result. Then why do it? So I also asked several people, several friends that I have around me and they told me not to do it, that there is no point in a fifth fight. I said before the fourth fight that no matter how this fight ends, there can not be a fifth," Marquez told Boxing Scene.
Of course, this directly contradicts what Beltran just said a few days back.
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"Juan Manuel Márquez already confirmed to me that he plans to continue [his career] in boxing and [told me] it is necessary to begin to review offers, to see the plans, to begin [the next steps] the following big fight [from last December]. He already spoke with his wife and children, with his family, and they support him in continuing [his career]," Fernando Beltran said.
"The two fighters do not want to pay so many taxes, and yes there is the possibility that it will happen in Macau, which is something that [Top Rank CEO] Bob [Arum] likes. [Arum] will do a show [in Macau] in April and he will see what we can do there and what kind of purses [we can get for the fighters] and other aspects. But there is also the new arena in Mexico City."
The word ‘ducking’ gets thrown around way too often in boxing these days. The haphazard way it gets used now has sort of diluted its meaning. In this case, though, it applies perfectly: Marquez is ducking Pacquiao. There is no two ways of reading this situation. He won’t grant a rematch to a guy who granted him four separate opportunities at beating him.
A fifth Pacquiao-Marquez fight would take place in September of 2013. There is still plenty of time for all involved to come to their senses. However, if Marquez doesn’t change his mind, if he stays on this current path, his legacy will take a massive hit.