Juan Manuel Marquez will never fight Manny Pacquiao again.
Think about the journey Marquez took to beat Pacquiao. It was not one of those ‘Fighter A got beat and came back one year later to get his revenge against Fighter B’ type of situations.
And it was not one of those ‘Fighter A dominates a weight division for years only to get beat by Fighter B and Fighter A never gets a rematch’ type of situations either.
Marquez’s boxing career is not like Oscar De La Hoya or Pernell Whitaker or Sugar Ray Leonard or Marvin Haglers.’ Marquez’s journey to knock out Pacquiao, the way we’ve never imagined to see the man get knocked out, is unprecedented. Marquez fought Pacquiao for the first time in 2004 to a draw. They fought each other three more times in eight years.
Marquez was never satisfied until he won. Today Marquez has the last laugh.
Twenty years from now, no one remembers Marquez lost a decision to Timothy Bradley ten months after he beat Pacquiao (the two are seen rumbling in their last fight, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) . At least they don’t remember it off of the top of their head. And no one will remember a potentially uneventful fifth fight between Marquez and Pacquiao.
Only boxing nerds like me care to review the third fight between Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. And only boxing nerds like me care to review Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield II.
We’re talking about the average boxing fan/mainstream sports fan. Marquez is thinking of his place with them.
The victorious image of Juan Manuel Marquez standing over a fallen Manny Pacquiao will be remembered forever. Marquez wants to keep that.
Manny Pacquiao will talk about the Juan Manuel Marquez knockout loss for the rest of his life. A win over Brandon Rios on Saturday won’t make us forget it.
Marquez won’t fight Pacquiao again for the 16 fights and eights years of going to the gym and sparring and wrapping his hands and unwrapping his hands. For every one of his training camps in between the first Pacquiao fight and the last one, Marquez won’t fight Pacquiao again.
Don’t expect Marquez to listen to eager boxing fans like you and me that just want a fifth encounter between the two greatest rivals in boxing this side of the 21st century.
Marquez, if he appreciates history, will never fight Pacquiao again.
When Marquez says that he has moved on, I believe him. I believe Marquez out of respect to Jersey Joe Walcott and Joe Louis, and Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver.
If Marquez were a dice player he’d get knocked out in a fifth fight against Pacquiao. You can’t play craps all night and quit after you win your first big roll. That’s not proper etiquette. A fifth fight with Pacquiao is an unnecessary gamble for Marquez.
There is no reason for ego to take over a 40 year-old that has reached the top of his professional life and accomplished his greatest professional dream.
I’m telling you, Pacquiao will never get his revenge against Marquez. How can any of us change Marquez’s mind? Erase history and get rich.
Here are two rematches that turned out being a disaster for Fighter A over the last 15 years.
Roy Jones Jr. vs. Antonio Tarver II May 15, 2004? (Is it sad that I know that date by heart? I remember where I was when Jones lost to Tarver…. Think about it all the time!)
In March 2003, Jones gained 25 pounds of muscle to move up from light heavyweight to heavyweight and win a portion of the heavyweight title. He lost all 25 pounds of muscle and the reflexes that came with them in less than seven months to move back down to light heavy and beat Antonio Tarver.
The Prideful Mistake – Jones let his pride get the best of him and granted Tarver an immediate rematch. Jones got knocked out in two rounds.
Hasim Rahman vs. Lennox Lewis II November 17, 2001
In April 2001, Rahman shocked the boxing world with his one punch knockout over then champion Lennox Lewis.
The Prideful Mistake – Instead of looking for new challengers and trying to reinvent the division, Rahman granted Lewis an immediate rematch and got knocked out in the fourth round.
Here are two rematches the boxing world wanted that never happened.
Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko
In June 2003, Lewis accepted the Klitschko challenge on two weeks notice and came in to the fight out of shape and uninspired. Klitschko was ahead on all three scorecards before an eye injury forced the ring doctor to stop the fight.
No Rematch – There were reports of 50 million dollar offers to Lewis for a rematch but he didn’t budge. Lennox Lewis left us speculating. Smartly.
Oscar De La Hoya vs. Ike Quartey
In February 1999, Quartey gave De La Hoya all he could handle for 12 rounds but lost a disputed decision. After a tense first five rounds, De La Hoya knocked Quartey down in round six and went for the KO. Quartey returned fire and knocked De La Hoya down in the same round with a counter left hook. De La Hoya was seemingly discouraged and played catch up the rest of the way until he knocked Quartey down again in a spectacular 12th round. De La Hoya won a split decision by an unjustifiable wide margin.
No Rematch – Although Quartey went down twice, many thought he did enough to win the fight. De La Hoya never granted The Bazooka a rematch. De La Hoya moved on to fight big names and Quartey never reached the pinnacle again.
How many times do you hear a story about a guy that moved up four weight classes to knock some one out? That’s the story Marquez wants us to tell. He closed the Manny Pacquiao book and so have I.
Let’s move on.
If Marquez and Pacquiao never fight again I’d be happy with it. My hope to see Mayweather and Pacquiao fight would be that much greater.
Hey, maybe I’m wrong. I’m just using history to defend my point. After all, history has a way of repeating itself.
You can follow Ray on Twitter @RayMarkarian