Juan Manuel Marquez: What's Next for Dinamita After Dropping Manny Pacquiao?
Juan Manuel Marquez felt the judges had wronged him in each of his first three fights with Manny Pacquiao.
And many speculated that the fourth bout between the two would be just as close and just as controversial.
But one perfectly timed, perfectly placed right-hand ended more than the fight, it ended the debate and gave Marquez the only decisive result in the series.
No juges needed. No controversy. No mess.
Finally, a decisive ending.
So where does Juan Manuel Marquez go from here?
Many feel he should retire off his big win. Others feel a fifth fight is in order.
Let's breakdown the options for Dinamita as he comes off a career-defining win.
Juan Manuel Marquez is 39 years old, and he's coming off a career-defining victory where he suffered a badly busted nose.
In the eyes of most observers, his win on Saturday night vindicated his entire career. He finally got that elusive win over Manny Pacquiao that some felt he earned years ago.
So is there anything left to prove?
This is the classic sports question whenever an athlete spends years working without winning the big one.
Finally, late in their career they win the title or the Super Bowl or World Series, and the chorus to 'go out on top' becomes deafening.
This is the very issue that faces Marquez today. Even before the Pacquiao win he was in the top five of most people's pound-for-pound lists.
He's sure to jump with this win and is still very much at the top of his game. So retirement, while tempting, is not his best option.
Fight Pacquiao a Fifth Time?
It's natural, given the way the fight ended, for the knockout to be the only story people are talking about. It was obviously one of the most spectacular—and shocking—moments in the history of the sport.
It even has one of the most famous calls in recent boxing history, courtesy of the great Roy Jones Jr.:
I keep watching Marquez-Pacquiao 4 KO. Roy Jones, and I quote, 'Oohhhhhhh!! He's not gettin' up, Jim. He's not gettin' up Jim.'@hboboxing— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) December 11, 2012
But before that fateful punch, it appeared Pacquiao was settling into one of those grooves that we hadn't seen from him in years.
He had Marquez busted up with a broken nose, had dropped him once, and appeared about to do it again.
Pacquiao appeared on the verge of taking over the fight completely, shredding Marquez with power-punches that were coming in too fast for the Mexican to counter effectively.
But to his credit, Dinamita was finally able to time one perfectly.
And, bang! The night was over.
Even amongst those who grumbled over the announcement of a fourth fight, a fifth now seems a very appealing possibility.
This was, by far, the most exciting fight of the entire series, and with a win Marquez will be able to jump into negotiations with far more leverage.
It's a no-brainer for both guys, should each choose to continue fighting.
Seek out Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
Is it possible to have just one fight end without observers speculating that the winner should fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
Mayweather and Marquez met once before, in 2009, with Mayweather winning a dominant unanimous decision.
But there were all sorts of problems with that fight.
Fundamentally, the people who tell you size doesn't matter (at least in boxing), are lying to you.
Mayweather had been competing at or above welterweight for nearly four years, while Marquez had never competed above the lightweight division.
Dinamita was forced to jump up 12 pounds to make the fight, and Mayweather came into the fight two pounds above the contracted limit. This infraction cost "Money" 600k but he was visibly much bigger.
Though he is considerably bigger than in their first bout, Marquez still isn't a full welterweight.
A rematch makes little sense for either fighter.
Avenge an Old Defeat?
If you've never heard of Chris John, you're not doing anything wrong.
John is the undefeated WBA featherweight champion, and has held his title for eight-and-a-half years.
But his appearances outside of his native Indonesia are extremely rare, and this is why he has little name recognition outside the hardcore boxing community.
John holds a victory over Marquez in a bout contested in Indonesia in 2006. John has been calling out Marquez for a rematch ever since the final bell tolled on Saturday night, but he appears to be a long shot at best.
For one thing he wants to face Marquez in Singapore (aka deep inside his home turf).
It doesn't seem logical for Marquez to seek out this fight half way around the world, where he's unsure if he'll be able to get a fair shake on the scorecards.
After finally beating Manny Pacquiao, why would Dinamita even want to consider putting himself into that situation again?
Take on the Young Guns?
Throughout his career, Juan Manuel Marquez has made a living off of counterpunching fighters who like to come forward, throw lots of punches, and leave themselves open for his vicious counters.
Anyone remember Juan Diaz?
Say hello to Brandon Rios.
Stylistically, Rios fits that mold perfectly, and was prominently mentioned as Manny Pacquiao's next foe if he beat Marquez.
It would seem that Rios, or even Timothy Bradley, would be nice options for Marquez should an immediate Pacquiao rematch not materialize.
It would also be an option if both guys feel the need to take another fight before facing each other again.
Not many people would mind if Pacquiao and Marquez were matched up with Bradley or Rios in the spring to pave the way for a fifth fight in the fall.
And that might just be the most likely scenario.