EVEN on the day he announced his retirement, Juan Manuel Marquez still had a parting shot for bitter rival Manny Pacquiao.
The four-time world champion from Mexico was presented with a ring-shaped cake in a ceremony marking his retirement from boxing, and showing a figure of him proudly standing over a fallen Pacquiao.
The setting was obviously a take from Marquez’s brutal sixth round knockout of his long-time Filipino nemesis in 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that turned out to be the fourth and final installment of their rivalry.
The image of an unconscious Pacquiao lying faced first on the canvas while Marquez stood triumphant, served as one of the most vicious knockouts ever in boxing history.
It was the only win by the Mexican in four meetings with his Filipino counterpart, but obviously the most fulfilling.
Naturally, Marquez, 43, considered it the highlight of his career.
“I think that’s the unforgettable moment in my career, not just for me, but for the fans, how the fights were fought,” said Marquez, who retired with a record of 56-7-1, with 40 KOs.
Pacquiao wanted a fifth fight with Marquez, but the Mexican had been adamant he had long put an end to the rivalry after administering the worst career loss of the Filipino ring legend.
Marquez admitted planning to fight one more time before finally hanging his gloves, but the wear and tear from countless wars in the ring, had finally caught up with him.
“The injuries pushed me to make this decision,” he said during the TV show Golpe a Golpe over ESPN Deportes. “It hurts, but I believe the right moment to put an end to my career has arrived.”
“I would have loved to do a final fight to say goodbye inside the ring, but I have to listen to my body, and it was telling me that the right moment to stop boxing is now.”