Juan Manuel Marquez: What Does Dinamita Still Have Left to Prove?

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 08:  (L-R) Juan Manuel Marquez throws a left at Manny Pacquiao during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Juan Manuel Marquez scored the biggest and most impressive victory of his career when he knocked out Manny Pacquiao last December in the sixth round.

Marquez, 39, had been hungry for a fourth fight against Pacquiao after suffering two close defeats and a draw in his previous fights with Pacquiao.

Dinamita believed he easily could have been declared the winner in any of the previous fights and he was frustrated that he had not gotten the benefit of the doubt in any of the decisions.

Prior to the fourth fight, Marquez trained harder and was a stronger man than he had ever been in his previous meetings with Pacquiao. The reason for this seemed simple. He did not want the fifth fight to go to the judges' scorecards where others would decide the outcome of the fight.

Marquez wanted to stop Pacquiao and take the fight out of the judges' hands.

It worked out just that way. Pacquiao was giving an excellent account of himself in the fight. While he had suffered an early knockdown after taking a stiff Marquez right hand, Pacquiao had rebounded very well and registered his own knockdown.

In the sixth round, it appeared Pacquiao was taking charge in the fight. He hit Marquez with a series of hard punches and he was on his way to winning the round decisively.

However, in the final seconds, Pacquiao ignored his opponent's power and waded in for what he thought would be another solid flurry.

Pacquiao never saw Marquez's best punch coming. As Pacquiao stepped forward, Marquez drove his right fist right to the jaw of Pacquiao and he delivered the hardest punch of his career. Pacquiao was knocked out before his head hit the canvas.

It was the dominating and impressive performance that Marquez wanted.

It was the crowning achievement of his career.

Marquez could probably call it a career after the Pacquiao knockout and be quite satisfied.

However, he has not done that. He has not had a retirement announcement. He is not quite ready to hang up his boxing gloves.

Marquez still has much to prove if he wants to remain an active boxer.

A fifth fight with Pacquiao would undoubtedly bring Marquez the best payday of his career. Marquez got the result he wanted in the fourth fight with his rival and he does not necessarily want to fight Pacquiao again (source: boxingnews24.com).

However, Pacquiao did not have to fight Marquez a fourth time after going 2-0-1 in the first three fights of the series. Marquez wanted the fight and Pacquiao was quite sportsmanlike in giving him a fourth chance.

Now, Pacquiao needs a rematch to restore his luster. It would seem to be the right thing to do.

Marquez may be thinking about Floyd Mayweather, but those thoughts have to be fleeting. Mayweather registered a one-sided decision in 2009 and while Marquez may be stronger now than he was then, he is not quicker.

Mayweather would likely have a major advantage.

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez might also be a big draw for Marquez, but Alvarez is a bigger and younger man. Alvarez has fought at 153 pounds or more in his last five bouts, while Marquez has never weighed more than the 143 pounds he was for Pacquiao.

Marquez would be taking a big chance if he got in the ring with Alvarez. While that would be an interesting bout, it would not bring in the kind of revenue that Marquez-Pacquiao V would.

Fighting Pacquiao again would be the right thing to do and also give boxing fans the fight they want to see.