Juan Manuel Marquez retires, says rivalry with Manny Pacquiao the highlight of storied career
Juan Manuel Marquez considered his 'unforgettable' knockout on nemesis Manny Pacquiao one of the top highlights of his illustrious career. AP

IT doesn't take an expert to guess what Juan Manuel Marquez considers the highlight of his storied career.

The 43-year-old Mexican great has put his celebrated rivalry with Manny Pacquiao as the highlight of his achievement as a four-time world champion, especially his dramatic sixth round knockout of the legendary Filipino boxer.

Marquez looked back at those great moments when he formally announced his retirement on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

"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 of his four memorable meetings with Pacquiao that started in 2004.

Considered as the greatest counter puncher in Mexican boxing history, Marquez hung his gloves after compiling a remarkable record of 56-7-1 with 40 KOs.

He fought the best there was, from Marco Antonio Barrera,  Joel Casamayor, Tim Bradley, to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But it was his four meetings with the great Pacquiao that stands the most.

Pacquiao twice won over his Mexican nemesis, drew once, and lost once in the most brutal fashion.

Marquez shots the lights out of Pacquiao in their 2012 bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, perfectly landing a right counter that flushed the Filipino on the chin and knocked him out cold - faced first - in the waning seconds of the sixth round.

"I think the fights against Pacquiao gave me the opportunity to face this Philippine fighter who in his time was the pound for pound fighter," he recalled.

"But that December 8, 2012 knockout was unforgettable." 

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