Juan Manuel Marquez has had a Hall of Fame career and is looking to fight one final time in his hometown of Mexico City in 2016. The four-division world champ last fought in 2014 against Mike Alvarado, a fight that saw action and both men hitting the canvas in a Marquez win.
Marquez probably won’t fight a pure boxer such as Timothy Bradley or Floyd Mayweather Jr. as it would be difficult for him to cut off the ring against an elite athlete at his age as well as dealing with such a lengthy layoff. Marquez will most likely pick someone who has a name, can make him money, and comes right after him in the ring.
So, who can the Mexican legend end his career against that will get the fans pumped up and excited to see him back in the ring one final time? Here are a few names that come to mind:
Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KOs)
Kell Brook is an English welterweight who currently holds the IBF world title and has not fought since May. This fight makes sense for Marquez because it would give him an opportunity to capture a world title at welterweight and to become a five-division champ.
Brook is a physical welterweight who has impressive power, likes to fight on the inside, and would have the size advantage over Marquez. Juan would need to somehow find a way to get inside on Brook and to counter his hard punches effectively.
If Marquez plans on his final fight being in Mexico City, however, then Brook may be out. It is unlikely that Brook’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, would let him travel anywhere outside of the UK to put his belt on the line.
Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs)
This is a significant matchup for both men if this fight were to be made. Garcia is an undefeated boxer who recently moved to welterweight, thus making it accessible for the fight to be made anywhere from 140-147.
Garcia is currently scheduled to face Robert Guerrero in January on the inaugural event of PBC on Fox, but he could still possibly fight Marquez after that fight with an impressive (preferably knockout) performance.
A Garcia and Marquez fight could be tedious though due to the fact that both men enjoy counter punching and not pressing the action unless the other man does. The fight could be very slow-paced in the beginning.
Yet, both possess power and it would be just another rendition of the Mexico vs Puerto Rico boxing rivalry, a matchup that will always sell to Latinos. The obvious roadblock to this fight is Garcia being aligned with PBC and Marquez with HBO, but hopefully, by the time Juan is ready to return, that will no longer be an issue in making fights.
Manny Pacquiao (V) (57-6-2, 38 KOs)
It may sound overstated, but Manny has to be #1 on any list of JMM’s potential opponents because these two in a ring together will always make sense. Pacquiao-Marquez V sounds overdone, but something this good can never be done enough.
Pacquiao and Marquez both have announced that they will fight one final time in 2016, coincidence? It could be, but more likely than not there is a reason that both announced they have one fight left: finishing off their careers vs each other.
Is there a better way for either guy to go out? Manny would get to avenge his devastating knockout loss that Marquez delivered in their last meeting and Juan could notch an unprecedented second win over the PacMan. Anytime these two warriors step into the ring together an absolutely exhilarating and epic battle breaks out that leaves everyone wanting more.
They have already proven that to us boxing fans four times since 2004, and one final battle in 2016 would be the perfect end to one of Boxing’s best head-to-head rivalries and two Hall of Fame careers.