HOUSTON, Texas—At first he relished the attention. Slowly, however, Juan Manuel Marquez is finding out that being boxing’s current toast can be too taxing and demanding.
This is the case especially in Mexico, where he is being accorded demigod status following his phenomenal knockout of Manny Pacquiao last Saturday in Las Vegas.
Marquez met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday to present him with the gloves he used in stopping Pacquiao with a perfectly timed, well-placed right with just a second to go in the sixth round.
Originally scheduled to watch Jorge Arce as his countryman and friend tried to wrest the WBO super bantamweight from Nonito Donaire Jr. here Saturday night, Marquez begged off, telling Ricardo Jimenez of Top Rank that he wanted to rest and spend time with his family in Mexico.
Since arriving to a hero’s welcome in Mexico City Wednesday, Marquez has been very busy, according to reports. He has appeared in television shows, graced functions and met with dignitaries—something he is unaccustomed to.
Legendary Mexican trainer, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, who has mentored Marquez since he was 13 years old, also failed to arrive to work Arce’s corner.
Apparently, wherever Marquez goes nowadays, the 73-year-old Hall of Famer goes.
According to Angel Hernandez, Marquez’s strength and conditioning coach who was present at Arce’s corner, Marquez will take a break from boxing until June, when he will likely fight a lesser-light.
If Pacquiao gets a clean bill of health after extensive tests at Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, Top Rank big boss Bob Arum said he will try to arrange Pacquiao-Marquez 5 in September.