Juan Manuel Marquez is now 42 years old, and has not fought since May of 2014, but the Mexican legend told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he wants to get back in the ring two more times before calling it a career: once in May and a final bout in September.
Marquez stated, “Let’s see if things work out so that it can happen. I’d like a fight in Mexico — I don’t know whether at the Azteca stadium, in the Mexico City Arena — and probably one more in another city, but we’ll see how things are going. For now, that’s what I want.”
So assuming JMM has two fights remaining, which two opponents would best suit him to finish his storied career? Two factors are for certain, though, these fights have to be from 140-154 pounds and they have to make financial sense, so who fits that mold?
According to ESPN, the Miguel Cotto team reached out to the JMM team about a fight between the two. This would almost certainly be a PPV fight and would be another edition of the Mexico-Puerto Rico boxing rivalry, a rivalry that Cotto has not had fond memories of.
Cotto vs Marquez makes perfect sense for May in Vegas at the MGM Grand, or possibly at the new arena opening in downtown Vegas. Also, if a fight were to be made between Cotto and Juan, it could set up a matchup with the winner of another big fight happening in Vegas in April: Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley.
A four man tournament involving Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto, and Juan Manuel Marquez needs to happen. Despite all of these fighters being far past their primes (besides Bradley), they are HBO fighters, around the same weight and are all still big ticket sellers in the sport of boxing.
JMM should pursue the Cotto fight in order to convince the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley to fight him in his final fight in September: both would be highly anticipated rematches and both could possibly be coming off of big wins if everything works out accordingly.
Marquez may want to leave his rivalry with Manny right where it is, but he would absolutely cherish the second chance at Bradley, who he thought he beat in their first meeting.
Juan Manuel Marquez will hopefully be in the ring on two separate occasions this year, and HBO could certainly use some viable challengers such as Marquez to add to their 147 pound stable in 2016.