Juan Manuel Marquez: Pros and Cons of Retiring Right Now

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

Juan Manuel Marquez: Pros and Cons of Retiring Right Now

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    Juan Manuel Marquez won more than a fight when he beat Manny Pacquiao this past December.

    To many he vindicated his entire career, solidified his position as a Hall-of-Famer, and finally righted the perceived wrongs that had been done to him in the previous fights. 

    Like the quarterback or pitcher who spends years toiling before finally winning the big one, Marquez now has a huge decision to make.

    Does he retire after his signature win? Or does he cash-in and step up to bigger and better things?

    We weigh the pros and cons of each move.

Pro: Go out on Top

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    Let's face it; as good as he is, Juan Manuel Marquez will likely never have another moment like he did on Dec. 8 against Manny Pacquiao.

    And that's not a knock on the Mexican legend, it's just hard to replicate one of the most stunning moments in boxing history.

    It's a fight and a punch that will go do down as one of the most talked about and historically significant in the history of the sport. 

    It's the equivalent of a walk-off home run in game seven of the world series, or hitting the three at the buzzer to win the NBA Championship. It was epic and there is no better way to end a career.

Con: The Public Wants a Fifth Fight

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    Somewhat lost in the hoopla of the ending knockout, and understandably so, was the fact that up to that point the fight was an epic battle.

    Both men had been badly hurt, both were dropped to the canvas, Marquez had a broken nose and Pacquiao appeared to be coming on in the fight.

    And then bang, one of the most perfect punches in boxing history, and the night is over.

    Even amongst those who openly complained about the need for a fourth fight, and there were many, the demand for a fifth fight is now palpable. 

    It would be great for the sport and would enhance the legacies of both fighters.

Pro: Get out with Your Health

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    There's something to be said for any athlete, particularly in contact sports like boxing or football, who gets out at the right time. 

    When you sign up to be a professional boxer you understand your job is to hit people and get hit back. It's a dangerous job make no mistake about it.

    Far too often fighters go on well past their expiration dates and injure more than their legacies. 

    Now that he's finally beaten Manny Pacquiao, in a brutal war, what else does "Dinamita" have to prove? It makes sense to get out now with your health, and legacy in tact.

Con: Cha-Ching

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    For most of his career Juan Manuel Marquez operated off of boxing's biggest stages. He was always a solid fighter, but considered too high-risk and low-reward for many significant fights and fighters. 

    Now there is no doubt he made decent money in boxing. He reportedly received a guaranteed purse of three million dollars from his most recent bout with Pacquiao.

    But with the win, and the way he did it, Marquez is now lined up to earn much bigger paydays should he fight on. 

    This is particularly true if he elects to pursue a fifth fight with his rival as he now owns the only decisive victory in the series and would be able to use this in negotiations.

Pro: Defining Moment

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    Many people felt that Juan Manuel Marquez deserved one, two or even all three of the decisions in his three prior fights with Manny Pacquiao.

    Of course the official judges are the only opinions that matter and they awarded two wins to the Pac-Man and one draw.

    But it's not unreasonable, given how close all the fights were, to state that with his knockout win Marquez holds the upper-hand in the rivalry.

    After-all it was clearly the most decisive and non-controversial ending, and it was more spectacular than anything Pacquiao accomplished in the series.

    If Marquez really wants to stick it to his rival he could retire now and leave that image, of him on the ropes celebrating, with his opponent unconscious as the defining moment of the series.

Con: Dinamita Is Still a Top 3 Fighter

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    Even at 39-years-old Juan Manuel Marquez is still an elite fighter in boxing. Before his win he was no worse than top five and now sits well inside the top three on most people's lists. 

    Even without Pacquiao, and make no mistake that fight will happen, there are still lucrative and meaningful matchups for Dinamita.

    These include a potential fight with all-action warrior Brandon Rios, who has a style built for Marquez, and Timothy Bradley who people have discounted at their own peril after his ridiculous win over Pacquiao.

    It's noble for a fighter, or any athlete for that matter, to go out on top. But Juan Manuel Marquez is a warrior. 

    And here's hoping he fights on.