Juan Manuel Marquez should hang up the gloves after a career-defining counter-punch that sent arch nemesis Manny Pacquiao to the canvas for good in their fourth epic showdown on Saturday night.
Bleacher Report captured the decisive right-handed blow that Dinamita landed at the tail end of the sixth round, which knocked Pacquiao out cold:
Retirement for the 39-year-old would be a sensible choice, if only because this will go down as one of the most memorable knockouts in boxing history, and there's likely nothing Marquez can do to top it.
To still have the desire to prove himself against his rival after a draw and two losses prior is a testament to his resolve and the massive chip he felt he had on his shoulder.
That chip is no longer there, but the reality of the bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was that Pac-Man was taking back control of the fight after getting knocked down earlier on. A furious fifth-round flurry of combinations and trademark aggression gave him the upper hand until Marquez delivered the punishing blow.
Perhaps that might be enough to lure Marquez into the ring, eager to further prove himself to the doubters—especially those who question whether he is on PEDs (h/t Yahoo!).
At age 39, Marquez clearly isn't getting any younger and doesn't have much else to prove against Pacquiao or anyone else. He felt very strongly that he won the three previous 12-round clashes and wanted to leave no doubt in the minds of fans and the judges that he was superior this time around.
Another rematch with Pac-Man wouldn't make any sense and neither would a second matchup with Floyd Mayweather Jr., no matter how much money might be involved with Money May.
As far as the Pacquiao series is concerned, a win by Marquez would even up the rivalry at 2-2-1, but considering how strong Pacquiao looked before the sudden KO, it's very difficult to say if Dinamita could emerge victorious once again.
On Mayweather: If the 2009 fight was any indication, Marquez would have very little chance against the undefeated American who dominated that 12-round bout and was awarded a unanimous decision.
Just because Pacquiao was charging back in his most recent fight, though, is not to imply that Marquez's knockout punch was a fluke. It was spectacular.
But Marquez has the golden opportunity to go out on top even at his relatively senior age in the sport of boxing. It's something he should take advantage of, as so many fighters have stuck around too long and hurt their long-term health because of it. Look no further than Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's legendary trainer.
While it's not guaranteed that Marquez will have a clean bill of health even if he leaves the ring now, he can save himself some punishment by not putting unnecessary wear and tear on his body at the end of his career.
Marquez finally got his due against one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time, knocking Pacquiao out for the first time in 13 years. That's a triumphant note to end on.
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