Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez likely won’t fight a fifth time. The latter has a bout set up against Timothy Bradley for later this year, and even if he prevails, at 40 years old he’ll be very tempted to hang up his gloves once and for all after that. The former has a match-up set up against Brandon Rios for November, and regardless of the outcome, it’s doubtful that his future plans include another tangle with arguably his biggest rival.
Even though their paths probably won’t cross again, it’s clear that Marquez is still very aware of the fact that he passed on a massive pay day for no real reason. Pacquiao was willing to redeem himself after last year’s embarrassing knockout defeat, however, Marquez seemed more interested in taking on a not-as-famous opponent, in a less anticipated bout, for a much smaller purse.
Recently, the 39-year-old star spoke with ESPN regarding his decision to pass on a fifth Pacquiao fight.
"Speaking sincerely, I don't think about that anymore," he said, when pressed about what could’ve been. "Anything that was pending was settled, in every way. If he would have knocked me out the way I did to him, how am I going to ask for another fight?”
Marquez’s point there seems to be that he beat Pacquiao beyond a shadow of a doubt, thus his rival doesn’t deserve a chance to redeem himself. It’s a bizarre statement given that, on two separate occasions, Pacquiao granted Marquez rematches that nobody felt like he had to grant.
"Keeping that feeling would be grandiose, and to have my Mexican supporters and the whole world enjoy that feeling and say, 'Remember the best pound-for-pound fighter that was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez?' -- to me, that is worth more than all the money in the world," he added.
While it’s certainly understandable that Marquez would want to preserve the great feeling he experienced after beating up on Pacquiao in dominant fashion, is that really a reason to duck someone? Isn’t he essentially saying: I beat him once, but I’m scared that I may not do it again?
When asked about the hefty financial reward that would’ve come with a fifth Pacquiao-Marquez fight, Marquez didn’t really offer much insight.
"We know that the offer will be tempting, but it isn't worth more than the feeling, what was lived, what was acquired after that knockout," Marquez said. "That's worth more than several million dollars. I would rather retire with this feeling than take a risk in whatever happens with Pacquiao [such as another controversial decision]."
Marquez could have earned many, many more millions fighting Pacquiao than he will in the Bradley fight. Apparently the satisfaction of knowing that he ducked his Filipino rival is worth more to him than all that dough.