Even the lure of his biggest paycheck ever won’t make Juan Manuel Marquez fight Manny Pacquiao again.
Less than two months after pulling off a brutal sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao in their fourth bout last Dec. 8, Marquez is reportedly hesitant to risk his newfound reputation by facing the eight-division world champ anew.
Shrugging off the so-called warrior mentality of Mexican boxers, Marquez told BoxingScene.com he won’t give Pacquiao a chance to get back at him, conveniently ignoring the fact that the Filipino superstar had given him the opportunity for a rematch three times before.
Their first bout in 2004, which saw Pacquiao knock down Marquez thrice in the first round, ended in a draw only because a judge’s scoring error deprived Pacquiao of a hairline victory.
The rematch in 2008 produced a split decision win for Pacquiao while Pacquiao-Marquez 3 in 2011 saw the Filipino prevailing by majority decision.
Despite earlier pronouncements by his promoter, Fernando Beltran, that his ward would return the favor by agreeing to a fifth fight, Marquez inexplicably changed his mind.
“I think, for me, there is no point [in a fifth fight],” Marquez told the boxing website. “We already achieved the desired result. Then why do it?
“I also asked several people, several friends that I have around me and they told me not to do it, that there is no point in a fifth fight. I said before the fourth fight that no matter how this fight ends, there cannot be a fifth.”
Beltran, who had earlier agreed with Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, to stage Pacquiao-Marquez 5 in September in Mexico, offered a different view.
Interviewed by ESPN Deportes, Beltran said Mexican fight fans should have a hand in Marquez’s decision.
“If the people want it, we will give the opportunity (for a rematch) to Manny,” Beltran said.
Beltran also told Esto, a Mexican sports daily, that their “priority is not to fight Pacquiao.”
Marquez stands to earn much less if he opts to fight an opponent other than Pacquiao, according to boxing pundits.