Juan Manuel Marquez will be best remembered for his epic four-fight rivalry with Manny Pacquiao. | Julie Jacobson/AP

Pacquiao archrival Marquez cites injuries as reason for retirement
Dino Maragay (philstar.com) - August 9, 2017 - 7:53am

MANILA, Philippines – Juan Manuel Marquez, known as Manny Pacquiao’s biggest rival, recently announced his retirement from boxing after a glorious 21-year career.

The Mexican star said injuries incurred while training for a planned return earlier this year forced him to call it quits.

"Making this decision was difficult and hard for me, but somehow positive. We made it 15 days ago. I injured my biceps (left), I was training and I felt pretty good, I continued training with only the right hand,” Marquez recently told ESPN Deportes TV show Golpe a Golpe.

“After a month, I started to train, sparring and then I suffered an illness… cold, cough and I cannot be cutting the workouts. That is why this decision is made,” he added.

Marquez will be best known to Filipino boxing fans as Pacquiao’s archrival, figuring in an epic four-fight saga with the Filipino icon.

Their rivalry started in their first meeting in 2004, when they battled to a controversial draw in a fight that saw Pacquiao knocking Marquez down thrice in the first round. Pacquiao would later score close decision wins in their 2008 and 2011 rematches, which infuriated Marquez as he insisted he won both fights.

Marquez though had the last laugh when he finally posted the most convincing outcome in their rivalry, when he knocked Pacquiao out cold in their fourth and last duel in 2012.

He fought twice more after – splitting his matches with Timothy Bradley and Mike Alvarado in 2013 and 2014, respectively – and was planning to lace it up again before the injuries got in the way.

“I am a fighter and I am a person and I am competitive and I like to be at my best and prepare myself at my very best – because physical integrity is the important thing, and this decision was then made," continued Marquez, who made his pro debut in 1993.

The pride of Mexico City leaves the sport with a record of 56-7-1, with 40 KOs. He won world titles at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight, and is a first-ballot Hall of Famer once he becomes eligible five years from now.

Marquez said that while he feels sad to leave the sport, he is ready to move on with his head held high.

"The fans have been very important to me, we have to thank them for all of the support they have given me and I have to say that it hurts me to end this, but everything has a beginning and an end, and you have to accept it, good or bad, with pain in my soul and in my heart,” he said.

Another former Pacquiao foe, Timothy Bradley, also announced his retirement recently.

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