MANILA, Philippines – After finally notching a victory against Filipino rival Manny Pacman” Pacquiao, Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez is ready to start a new chapter in his illustrious boxing career.
This new chapter begins on October 12 in Las Vegas, when Marquez challenges unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt.
“The chapter with Manny Pacquiao, that’s closed,” Marquez said emphatically in an interview with ESPN. “I won, I won.”
“I waited for this victory all my career and I won in December 8. I think the chapter with Manny, that’s closed,” he added.
Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in their fourth encounter last year in Las Vegas, and has since resisted any attempts by the Filipino’s camp to agree to a fifth fight.
Instead, he chose to challenge Bradley, who also beat Pacquiao in June 12 via a controversial split decision.
“Timothy Bradley is a great fighter. He’s a great fighter. He has intelligence, he has speed, and he trains very hard,” Marquez said. “I like this kind of challenge, because Bradley’s a great fighter and he’s a champion.”
More importantly for Marquez, Bradley holds a belt that he believes should belong to him.
The WBO welterweight belt was on the line when Marquez fought Pacquiao for the third time in November 2011, but the Filipino boxer triumphed via a majority decision.
“Everybody knows what happened in 2011,” Marquez said. “That belt should be mine.”
He is determined to beat Bradley and make history as the first Mexican boxer to win a championship in a fifth different weight division.
“I’ll be back in October 12 for this belt. Right now, that’s very important for me and for my country,” Marquez said.