After Manny Pacquaio was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquaio's future for 2013 and beyond is in question. The knockout was not just painful but embarrassing for one of this generation's finest fighters.
At the same time, the automatic victory seems to have rejuvenated Marquez and given him greater options than he had prior to Saturday night's fight.
2013 looks bright for the man known as Dinamita.
The late Saturday night post-fight press conferences for each fighter told an interesting story. Pacquiao was unable to speak due to the knockout and a subsequent/immediate run to the hospital to get a CAT scan.
His trainer/coach Freddie Roach was available though and stepped in to handle the questions of reporters.
The full interview transcript can be found here.
Roach is unsure of what the future entails for Pac-Man. While Roach seemed more than intent on Pacquiao's return to training, he would not guarantee another trip to the ring.
"If he's back in the gym, I see signs of him declining, I'll tell him to retire. But if I don't see that, I won't tell him to retire."
Roach even indicated he would like a rematch with Marquez. "I would like to get a rematch but is that the best move right away? Maybe try him out with a softer fight first? There are a lot of different things we have to think about."
One thing was clear from Roach's post-fight comments: He thought Pacquiao fought a good fight up until getting knocked out. "I thought we were in control of the fight. I thought we almost had him out. And he [Pacquiao] got a little careless."
Based on those comments and the rest of Roach's interview following Pacquiao's knockout loss, it seems Pacquiao will continue to fight, at least in 2013.
As for Marquez, the future seems even brighter, though perhaps even more ambiguous.
He was asked about possibly retiring a year ago and responded that he was "very happy he did not retire" and got to have his hand raised in victory.
Marquez claimed this victory was one of the finest of his career and that he was mostly concerned about enjoying and celebrating the victory "with his friends and family in Mexico."
Finally, he didn't know what was next in his career.
In short, he did not rule out the possibility of retiring but certainly did not consider his fighting career over either.
The similarities between Marquez and Pacquiao were most congruent in that statement. Both career trajectories are hazy at this moment. Marquez probably has more options but is also more advanced in age and could ride off into the sunset with such a meteoric victory.
Only time will tell what either fighter will do. In this case, words do not seem to mean much.
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