What Now For Juan Manuel Marquez?

by James Slater - Now that his ill-fated welterweight adventure is over with, Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez must move on. Or, to put it more accurately, he must move down - back down in weight. Though he was utterly outclassed and out-speeded by the much bigger Floyd Mayweather Junior on Saturday, Marquez was not disgraced and he was not knocked out. "Dinamita" gave it his best shot, but his disadvantage in weight combined with Floyd's unequalled speed (that was not in the slightest affected by his 21 month layoff as some, myself included, felt it would be) saw to it that he lost big time..

Pride saw the former featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight ruler to the final bell, and this same fighting pride could perhaps win Marquez another world title. Probably still capable of making super-featherweight, Marquez also has the choice of dropping back down to 135. Far from a finished fighter despite what happened against Mayweather, Marquez would likely enter a bout with a good number of the world's current best at 130 or 135-pounds as a betting favourite.

Getting back down to 130-pounds would perhaps take too much out of Marquez, so let's for the time being assume he drops back down to lightweight. Who could the Mexican, who still has never once been stopped, face some time next year?

A fight between the still pound-for-pound worthy Marquez and WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero would be a very intriguing fight. Marquez the master counterpuncher Vs. Valero the lethal bomber. How would that match-up play out? And would you pay good money to find out - damn straight you would! Or maybe Marquez could fight the winner of the upcoming Joan Guzman-Ali Funeka IBF lightweight battle. This too would be an interesting fight for "Dinamita." Or if it's belts he wants, Marquez could maybe challenge WBA champ Paulus Moses, the unbeaten fighter from Namibia.

True, none of these possible fights are approaching the super-fight bracket (with the possible exception of Marquez-Valero), but the 36-year-old veteran of well over 50 fights doesn't exactly have an absence of decent opponents to fight either. And make no mistake about it, Juan Manuel will fight again. Despite getting his biggest ever payday in his losing fight with Mayweather, Marquez will not feel the urge to walk away and enjoy his earnings. No way. Mexican warriors are simply not like that, and Marquez's pride will see to it that he boxes on, looking to reclaim his top spot in the lightweight picture.

By next summer at the latest, Juan Manuel will be back doing his stuff where he belongs: in the lightweight division.

Article posted on 22.09.2009

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