Report: Juan Manuel Marquez to announce retirement
Retirement apparently is infectious.
Juan Manuel Marquez will announce his retirement on Friday, according to ESPN.com. That follows the same decision by Wladimir Klitschko and Tim Bradley, as well as Japanese fighters Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura. Bradley has yet to make an announcement.
Marquez, who turns 44 on August 23, is considered one of the greatest Mexican fighters in history after winning eight major titles – including the RING lightweight championship – in four divisions in his 21-year career.
“Dinamita” probably is best known for his stunning one-punch knockout of rival Manny Pacquiao in 2012 – his only victory in their four-fight series – but collected many important victories in a career that will lead him to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
He was part of a great trio of little Mexican fighters, with Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, but outlasted both of his countrymen. Barrera and Morales were more popular than Marquez because they were action fighters while he relied more on counterpunching, at least in the first part of his career.
Marquez turned pro at 19 in 1993 in Mexico City, his hometown. He lost to Javier Duran by disqualification as the result of a head butt in that bout but was a consistent winner after that.
He first made his name as a regular at the Forum in Inglewood, California, and other venues in Southern California, where he gained the respect of Mexican fans and those in the boxing industry. However, he won his first title at a relatively advanced age.
Marquez was 29 when he stopped Manuel Medina in the seventh round for the vacant IBF featherweight title in February 2003, his first major belt. He would win his other seven titles over the next nine years, beating the likes of Derrick Gainer, Orlando Salido, Barrera, Rocky Juarez, Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz (twice) along the way.
The Pacquiao series was a source of frustration for Marquez, who went 1-2-1 in those fights even though some observers believe he deserved the nod in the three before his dramatic knockout.
Marquez fought Pacquiao for the final time on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas. The Mexican was losing a close fight on the cards – and was in danger of being stopped himself – when he landed a historic right counter than rendered Pacquiao unconscious in one of the most-electrifying moments in recent years.
That was his defining victory.
Of course, Marquez (56-7-1, 40 knockouts) also took his losses in addition to his pro debut. There were controversial decisions against Freddie Norwood (in his first title fight) and Chris John, the two setbacks against Pacquiao, a near shutout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and a split-decision against Timothy Bradley in 2013.
However, Marquez will be remembered as one the most-skilled, fiercest boxers of his generation. And, in the end, after taking more risks in the ring, he became one of the more popular fighters of his era.
He outpointed Mike Alvarado in his last fight, in May 2014.