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What’s Next for Juan?

H1_JMM-Juan-Manuel-Marquez-Blue.jpg
H1_JMM-Juan-Manuel-Marquez-Blue.jpg

By Bill Tibbs


At 40 years of age, and with 64 fights under your belt, any fight could be your last. Juan Manuel Marquez, 56-7-1 (40), who pitched a great performance last Saturday night against Denver’s tough, “Mile High” Mike Alvarado, will certainly live to fight another day. With the exciting win, in a give-and-take battle that saw both fighters deposited on the deck, he is as hot as ever. Marquez got back in the win column after a frustrating loss to Timothy Bradley last October and put himself in line for another pay-per-view gig and its accompanying big payday. He played out the almost-perfect scenario on Saturday as he showed enough dominance to convince any and all fans who may have questioned what he had left. But by catching a few in the process and getting dropped after knocking down Alvarado, he showed just enough vulnerability to be even more attractive as an opponent.


While Juan was non-committal as to what is up next, he will find his phone ringing sooner than later for a fall fight. Let’s take a look at some fun possibilities for the Mexican legend.
 
Manny Pacquiao: Juan pole-axed “Pac-Man” in their last fight and sent the Filipino boxing legend into snooze mode. Pacquiao is an all old-school fighter and will gladly take a rematch and doesn’t avoid anybody. Pacquiao should box a little smarter and avoid the thunderous right he walked into in fight number four but he’ll probably want to erase any doubts about who is better and revert to his old seek-and-destroy style at some point. And that is why these fights are great. These two couldn’t be in a bad fight if they tried.
 
Brandon Rios: It’s almost unfathomable to imagine this being anything but an old-time pier-sixer. Rios is coming off two losses and is more than likely looking to pick up a win, so this may not be the best route for him. But I’m sure he is also looking for a high-profile bout and the paycheck that comes with it. I think this would be all-action of Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward-esque proportions. Good for Juan? Doubt it. Good for Rios? Nope. Good for fans? Yup!
 
Floyd Mayweather: With Juan drilling Manny, going neck-and-neck with then-unbeaten Timothy Bradley, then beating up Alvarado, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t earned a rematch. But Floyd schooled so Marquez so badly in bout number one; it just seems hard to imagine a rematch being any different.
 
Danny Garcia: The unbeaten Pennsylvania phenom is south-Philly tough and can crack. This is a tough outing for Marquez. It would be fun to see if Juan can still ply the boards against a young gun like this. And it would be fun to see if Garcia could handle the skill and experience of Marquez. Not an easy debut at 147 for “Swift” but a great fight!
 
Ruslan Provodnikov: I’m not sure this would even be legal! An absolute war. Though Ruslan would be coming up from 140, Marquez isn’t a natural welterweight, so the size wouldn’t be a factor. What can I say? Bombs away! He’s got unbeaten Chris Algieri coming up in a couple of weeks but if he’s successful in that one, he’d be ready for the fall. I hate to mine the Gatti-Ward comparison again but…
 
Amir Khan: Khan is waiting patiently for the call from Mayweather but this would be an interesting fight. Khan seems like a big, strong welter and his jab could prove difficult at times for Juan. If Marquez can land the counter howitzer, he could starch Khan though. Amir’s whiskers make him vulnerable but Khan has some pop and Marquez is hittable, so it could be a fun one with some fireworks.
 
Shawn Porter: This Ohio champ’s skills and profile seem to be improving with every outing. He’s confident, tough and is starting to turn some heads as a possible player at the elite level. At age 40 and with a lot of miles on him, Juan is going to get old one night. The iron-tough, Mexican legend will always show up but one of these nights, his reflexes won’t. Not sure Marquez wants a part of this young, hungry kid.
 
Keith Thurman: See the Porter write-up.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 
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