Juan Manuel Marquez will soon be pondering his next career move.
Juan Manuel Marquez lost to Manny Pacquiao last night, but he retained his credibility as an elite fighter and won the hearts and minds of many fans and media.
Marquez troubled Pacquiao with clever counterattacks throughout the bout, and yet again, left doubt in many people’s eyes as to who was the true winner.
Marquez will be very marketable to promoters all over the world after last night’s performance and could cash in big the next time he steps between the ropes.
Here, we take a look at five possible next steps in the career of Juan Manuel Marquez.
Juan Manuel Marquez is still recognized by Ring Magazine as the linear Lightweight World Champion.
A match against unbeaten WBA World Champion Rios would allow him to defend his Ring title against the No. 1 contender.
Rios is slated to defend his WBA strap against tough Englishman John Murray on December 1st at Madison Square Garden.
If Rios comes through his defense with Murray, he would be very keen to fight Marquez, who would be his biggest opponent to date. The match would also be widely recognized as a battle between the two best lightweights on the planet.
A fight against Shane Mosley would generate huge revenue for Marquez.
If Marquez decides to stay up in the welterweight division, there is no shortage of big names to face—or money to be made.
A fight with "Sugar" Shane Mosley would be a surefire money generator for Marquez and would also be a battle between two future Hall of Famers.
While neither of these fighters are in the physical prime of their career, big names sell fights, and that fact has been proven time and again.
This fight would allow Marquez to add one more big name onto his resume of career victories and enable him to make significant revenue as he enters the latter years of his career.
Both of these men lost to Manny Pacquiao in their most recent fight, and victory here could rejuvenate the winner’s career.
Amir Khan is another Freddie Roach protege.
Amir Khan is currently rated by The Ring Magazine as the world’s best light welterweight. The fast and skilled British fighter also currently holds the WBA Super Light Welterweight title, as well as the IBF belt in the same division.
This fight would be very difficult to pick a winner and would be a huge revenue generator in the USA, Europe and South America.
Marquez would be able to gain a high-profile win and also gain a measure of revenge on Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. While Roach dedicates the majority of time to Pacquiao, in the Wild Card Gym, Khan is very much viewed as the heir to Manny’s throne.
Khan is already the top light welterweight around and has beaten one renowned Mexican in Marco Antonio Barrera. A win over Marquez would undoubtedly see Khan enter the upper echelon of pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Has Marquez reached the end of the road?
At 38 years old, Marquez is entering the final stages of his great career. It would be very justifiable if he was to call it a day claiming he has nothing left to prove.
Marquez is currently rated by The Ring Magazine as the No. 5 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and has won eight world title’s at three different weights during his storied career.
In the press conference after last night’s fight, Marquez talked about the possibility of his career coming to an end.
“It is the result of this fight that makes me think of retirement,” a clearly disappointed Marquez told the official Ring Magazine website.
Could we see Pacquiao v Marquez 4?
He may have said something different at the press conference last night, but how long will it be until disappointment turns to anger in the mind of Mexican warrior Marquez?
The fact remains that a victory over Pacquiao would be a significant addition to the legacy of Marquez, and he has shown enough in their great trilogy to suggest that it is possible.
Pacquiao seemed disappointed in his post-fight interview and conceded that Marquez had done enough to deserve another fight.
At the post-fight press conference, Freddie Roach discussed how difficult the fight was, and how Marquez was worthy of another fight.
“The fight was close, it was very close,” Roach told The Ring’s official website. “It’s the kind of fight I don’t want to do again but we have to. S**t, he’s given us problems three times. I do think he deserves another rematch. Yes I do.”
It's possible that one day we could see a shirt bearing the moniker “Marquez Beat Pacquiao Three Times” at a pre-fight press conference.
The fight would have no trouble selling, and this could go down in history as the greatest rivalry in the history of the sport with another great match.