Juan Manuel Marquez was relieved when Manny Pacquiao came ‘back to life’ following a harrowing knockout blow.
Marquez revealed his fear immediately after rendering Pacquiao unconscious in their infamous 2012 meeting.
The Mexican legend was under the cosh when he pulled out an almighty bazooka punch to lay his four-fight rival out for the count.
Manny Pacquiao KO’d
Marquez ran around the ring as if he’d become an undisputed welterweight champion – such was the frustration at the results in the previous three Pacquiao bouts.
Meeting in 2004, 2008, and 2011, Marquez had lost two close decisions and held the Filipino to a draw. Many believe Marquez had solid claims to winning at least two of those contests.
His determination going into the fourth meeting knew no bounds.
Not impossible for Marquez
“I did say I needed a knockout in the last fight, but everybody knows that Manny Pacquiao is a strong fighter. It is difficult, but not impossible, to knock him out,” said Marquez during fight week.
“For this fight, I prepare for everything. I trained to win and to win clearly.
“Without a doubt, the last fight I thought I won clearly. Everyone thought I had won the fight. The judges were the only people who didn’t think I won the fight.”
Landing that haymaker on Pacquiao’s chin and seeing him fall was all Marquez had envisioned before trading blows. The memory of defeat remained fresh only a year after the last loss.
But once the blow landed and the celebration ended, Marquez settled back into a worry. As the crowd remained stunned, Pacquiao didn’t move for what seemed like an eternity.
Back to life
As Marquez mentioned on a taping of his new venture with ProBox TV, panic began to set in.
“When I reacted to Pacquiao [after the celebration], he still looked knocked out,” explained Marquez, who waited for Pacquiao to come around.
“[Pacquiao moved, and] that left me calm. When did I see that he reacted and was like coming back to life [I was happy], because what would have happened if it had been different [and he was seriously injured]?
“I hugged him and told him that he was a great champion. I also thank God that it [a serious injury] did not happen to [us as] adults, and we are happy.
“It was a tough fight and a personal rivalry,” he concluded.
Marquez fought again after that Pacquiao victory but refrained from accepting many offers for a fifth fight. The demand was there, but Marquez didn’t want to risk his success going on to meaning nothing by handing the “Pacman” a revenge opportunity.
A win over Mike Alvarado followed up another controversial loss to Timothy Bradley. Marquez then left the sport on his terms and in triumph.
He never again graced the ring, no matter how much money was on the table for Pacquiao vs Marquez V. Eight years have passed since, and Juan Manuel Marquez has no regrets.