Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are two of the toughest guys on the planet. Combined they have won 109 matches and knocked out 78 opponents. They have been in some absolute wars, and it goes without saying that they have proven themselves to be the manliest of men on countless occasions.
That being said, the decision regarding both of their boxing futures may ultimately not come down to what they want to do. Rather, even though both clearly want to fight until their bodies no longer allow them to, they could actually end up retiring sooner than expected on the insistence of their wives.
While speaking to reporters recently, Marquez was questioned on the likelihood of him returning to the ring.
"I wish my wife would give the green light (permission) to continue boxing and seek a fifth world title," he told the Manila Bulletin. "I am trying to convince her."
His promoter, Fernando Beltran, echoed those sentiments.
"His family has the final say but it all depends on how Marquez feels right now," Beltran told the same paper.
Marquez isn’t the one only waiting on an okay from his wife, though. Recently, Jinkee Pacquiao made her desire to see her husband retire very clear.
"It's the first time I've seen him like that, lying on the canvas, and I was scared,'' she told told USA Today Sports of her husband’s most recent defeat.
"I know he is still (capable) of fighting, but for me there is nothing to prove," she continued.
"He already has eight (title) belts. He can retire -- stop -- at any time. I want him to stop now.”
Whereas fighters think about pride, respect and all those things when contemplating their next move, for wives it’s a much simpler process. All they care about is health.
"Boxers risk their lives; (some) end up in wheelchairs. I don't want that to happen to Manny," Jinkee said.
At the end of the day, there is every reason in the world to put together a fifth bout between Pacquiao and Marquez. If both fighters’ wives come out against it, though, the fact that the match makes sense won’t be enough to make it happen.