LAS VEGAS – Juan Manuel Marquez, the Mexican counter-puncher loathed by Filipino boxing fans, believes Manny Pacquiao is “not focused” against Tim Bradley and a loss Saturday night will force him to stage an ill-advised comeback.
Best remembered for his four fights with Pacquiao, the last one in December 2012 going down as one of the saddest chapters in the history of Philippine sports, Marquez me with Manila-based scribes in a underground party place within the vast MGM Grand premises.
Now 42, Marquez scored the most impressive win of his 65-fight career by knocking out Pacquiao with one punch in the sixth round, a victory that elevated his status among Mexico’s ring greats to another level.
Here to serve as an analyst for ESPN Deportes, Marquez feels Pacquiao is not mentally prepared owing to his many off-the-ring activities.
“I see Pacquiao not focus in this fight. I don’t know why. Maybe the politician, maybe the family, maybe the religion, I don’t know what happened. I think Pacquiao is not focus in the fight. This is important in a fight,” said Marquez, who won world titles a feather, super-feather, lightweight and welter.
Unlike Pacquiao, Bradley, Marquez noted, is “focused and prepared very hard for this fight.”
As to the possibility that he and Pacquiao fight for the fifth time, Marquez dismissed the notion, implying that he might get ripped off in a fifth battle.
“If I won the fourth fight on a decision, maybe I will agree to a fifth fight with Pacquiao But you know what happened in the past.”
Before Marquez flattened Pacquiao, he had drawn with Pacquiao in 2004, lost a split verdict in 2008 and dropped a majority decision in 2011, blaming the judges for biased scoring.
Asked whether Pacquiao will hang up his gloves after the Bradley fight, Marquez thinks he won’t.
“I don’t know (retire). I don’t believe. If Pacquiao loses the fight, you think he will retire? Because nobody wants to lose and retire.”