After Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao last December, two story lines developed. One, Marquez – haunted by three previous fights against Manny – finally exorcised the demon that was the Pac Man from his life. The other was the ensuing doubt as to whether or not Pacquiao would ever be the same after that brutal one shot knockout loss.
One thing lost in the champagne celebratory showers was that Marquez had been in a dogfight against a frighteningly sharp puncher who was beating him up for the last five minutes and fifty-nine seconds of the fight. Even the most ardent Marquez fans would have to admit that it didn’t look good for their man before he dropped the bomb with one second remaining in round six. Just how much did that brutal encounter take out of Marquez?
There is every reason to believe, if you contend Pacquiao is done, that Marquez just may be standing on shaky legs himself.
Marquez will be forty years old when he enters the ring against Timothy Bradley on October 12. The string of tough fights he’s been in during the latter stages of his career ranks alongside any stellar resume in boxing.
As of 2013 Dinamita finally finds the Mexican spotlight shining brightly and directly on him, rather than Erik Morales or Marco Antonio Barrera – the other two Mexican idols who always seemed to overshadow him. Until the night Marquez picked himself up from off the canvas three times in the opening stanza of his first battle with Pacquiao. It was in that round and the eleven that followed that Marquez revealed the warrior spirit long hidden behind his technical brilliance.
Not only did Marquez give everything of himself in his fourth fight with his nemesis but the primal scream he let loose after the shot heard round the world may have been symbolic of a long suffering fighter finally purging himself of all his frustrations. Come Saturday he could find his gas tank on empty before the fight even heats up. So consumed with Pacquiao has Marquez been these last several years that his desire may now be tempered.
Even after beating Manny he still can’t seem to stop talking about him and how exhilarating it felt when Pacquiao didn’t get up. He’s now become slightly obsessed with the fight itself because, in his mind, it was justice finally served. How can that insatiable hunger remain after such a dramatic event? And, again, age and wear and tear will one day win out.