Who will it be for Marquez in his final dance?
By Hector Franco
October 13, 2016
It’s been over two years since boxing fans have seen Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) inside a boxing ring. In the 43-year olds last fight he faced off against Mike Alvarado. The fight took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Marquez put on an exciting and dominant performance. Since then Marquez has been plagued with a knee injury that has kept him out of the ring.
Earlier this year there were negotiations that took place for a fight between Marquez and Miguel Cotto. The fight fell through when the two sides couldn’t agree on a weight that satisfied both fighters. Marquez would like to have one final fight in 2017. Preferably in his native country of Mexico.
The four-time world titleholder has been in training with controversial strength and conditioning coach, Memo Heredia to get his body ready for a return. The question for boxing fans is who will be the final opponent for the Mexican legend. On the ESPN show “Golpe a Golpe” where Marquez is a co-host he spoke about what his plans are for a return.
For years, Marquez has been on a quest to capture a fifth world title. It would seem like a natural fit for Marquez to face the winner of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas fight. The fight will be for the WBO welterweight title. If Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) comes out the winner it would represent the biggest paycheck for Marquez at this time. With Marquez already having faced Pacquiao four times and knocking him out cold in the last fight in December 2012, Marquez may have the Filipino’s number.
A fifth fight has been discussed in the past but Marquez has always refused another fight with Pacquiao. With the fourth fight having the best possible outcome for Marquez, another fight with Pacquiao is of little interest to Marquez. The paycheck and another possible title, however, will always be there whenever the Mexican wants.
On the other hand, if Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) were to come out victorious against Pacquiao, Marquez may jump on the opportunity. Fighters who are able to utilize lateral movement have given Marquez the most trouble. Vargas is not a fighter who will be hard to find for Marquez. The Mexican-American may also be the only titleholder willing to face Marquez in Mexico. Evidence of this was shown earlier this year when Vargas signed to face Kell Brook in the United Kingdom.
Other options for Marquez would be for him to take on fighters like Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provodnikov. As a lightweight, Marquez faced Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. These fights are some of Marquez’s most exciting. They allowed for Marquez to show off his beautiful counter-punching. Marquez also stopped both men. Rios and Provodnikov could provide the same kind of competition while giving fans in Mexico a great send off to remember Marquez.
Marquez has given fans so many great fights and moments. He has the chance to leave the sport on his own terms. Whatever he chooses to do his ticket to Canastota in the Hall-of-Fame is set.
(Featured Photo: Getty Images)