Juan Manuel Marquez beat Manny Pacquiao fair and square this past December. There was no stepping on anyone’s feet. There were no low blows. Everybody’s drug tests came back clean after the fact. When boxing fans look back on the pair’s fourth match a few years from now, they will simply see a Marquez victory – nothing more, nothing less.
All of that being said, for the folks who have watched these two battle and compete three times prior to last year’s bout, something about that showing was a bit tough to swallow. Marquez entered the proceedings looking more ripped than he had at any point in his 38 years of life leading up to it, and he ended up beating Pacquiao thanks to a lot of power that he never previously had.
Marquez was always known for his impeccable timing and tremendous counters, however, that wasn’t what took down Pacquiao in their fourth fight. What took him down was Marquez’s impeccable timing and tremendous counters, coupled with a whole lot of new strength that hadn’t been there before.
Naturally, when athletes suddenly come into their fights looking better and more ripped than ever at age 39, folks can’t help but wonder if what they're seeing is legit. Complicating matters even further was Marquez’s new relationship with Angel "Memo" Hernandez – a proven and admitted PED peddler.
Given the suspicions surrounding Marquez’s performance in his only victory over Pacquiao in four tries, some feel as though the Filipino star shouldn’t bother with a fifth fight. One of those people: Marco Antonio Barrera.
“To me personally, why make a fifth fight?” Barrera told the Star last week.
“I don’t know who will win for sure. Manny should think about his career if he should continue or not. He is a very good person,” he said.
When pressed on how he felt about the outcome of last December’s match, Barrera held nothing back.
“It came as a surprise for me because I’m more friends with Manny Pacquiao than Marquez,” said Barrera.
“Marquez doesn't have power. I don’t know what happened. Everybody can see the difference of the Marquez today and the Marquez of the past.”
And therein lays the problem Marquez will likely face for at least a little while longer. There is just too much scrutiny and suspicion surrounding a.) his affiliations and b.) his crazy new body. When your own peers are questioning your legitimacy, not just random writers and boxing analysts, that’s not good.