Juan Manuel Marquez secured the biggest win of his professional boxing career when he faced Manny Pacquiao last December, knocking the Filipino congressman out cold during the sixth round of their encounter.
It was a well-deserved win for Marquez, who had already lost three decisions to Pacquiao prior to their fourth fight on Dec. 8, fights many in the boxing community scored in favor of the Mexican.
Then 39 years old, retirement seemed like the smartest option for Marquez after the decisive victory against Pacquiao, and, for a moment, it seemed like “Dinamita” was going to take his Cinderella-ending and walk away from the sport.
However, Juan wasn’t quite ready to hang up his gloves, eventually signing a contract to face undefeated (technically speaking anyway) Timothy Bradley on Oct. 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
“While I never thought that I would be fighting at this age, I have never felt that I should retire just because of my age,” Marquez explained. “My body continues to feel good and mentally. I feel at [the] top of my game. The fact that I have changed my preparation for my fights — adapting to my age — has also helped; doing things differently has prevented my training from becoming boring and tedious.”
Clearly not the words of a boxer who plans to retire anytime soon.
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) was in arguably in the best shape of his career when he faced Pacquiao last December, and he looks pretty good heading into his WBO welterweight title tilt against Bradley (30-0-0, 12 KOs).
On paper, the matchup favors Marquez due to his proficient counter-punching abilities and his well-documented knockout power. However, Bradley has proven he’s as tough as they come in boxing, surviving several tough moments during his fights against Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov, so he definitely won’t go down without a fight.
Fortunately, for Marquez, regardless of what goes down when he squares up against Bradley, his numerous accomplishments as a boxer, capped off with his brutal knockout victory against one of the most popular boxers of his era, has cemented his legacy as one of the pound-for-pound best of his time.
The result of his bout against Bradley — or any other in the future — won’t have any effect on that fact.