One of Manny Pacquiao’s greatest rivals is hanging up his gloves.
Juan Manuel Marquez on Friday announced his retirement after sustaining a series of injuries that forced him to take a prolonged break.
According to BoxRec.com, he hadn't been active since May 2014. Marquez was planning to return to the ring but, at 43 years old, he couldn't bring his body back to its effective fighting form.
"Making this decision was difficult and hard for me, but somehow positive. We made (the decision) 15 days ago. I injured my biceps (left), I was training and I felt pretty good, I continued training with only the right hand,” Marquez was quoted as saying in Boxing Scene.
“After a month, I started to train, sparring and then I suffered an illness . . . cold, cough and I cannot be cutting the workouts. That is why this decision is made.”
Marquez, one of the most effective counterpunchers in the sport, is best known for his rivalry with Pacquiao.
They fought four times. Their first bout ended in a draw and the next two won by Pacquiao via close decisions.
But their fourth bout was the most memorable, at least for Marquez and Mexican boxing fans, with Marquez stunning Pacquiao with a 6th-round knockout victory in December 2012.
"I think that's the unforgettable moment [in my career], not just for me, but for all the fans. How the fights were fought, how the rivalry with Manny Pacquiao was practically knit,” Marquez said in a separate Boxing Scene report.
Marquez was offered a hefty amount for a fifth bout, but he declined.
Besides fighting Pacquiao, Marquez faced the best boxers of his era including Floyd Mayweather Jr., Joel Casamayor and Marco Antonio Barrera.
Marquez held nine world championships including the WBA, IBF, and WBO featherweight titles; the WBC super featherweight title; the WBA, WBO, Ring magazine, and lineal lightweight titles; and the WBO junior welterweight title.
"The fans have been very important to me. We have to thank them for all of the support they have given me and I have to say that it hurts me to end this, but everything has a beginning and an end, and you have to accept it, good or bad, with pain in my soul and in my heart," Marquez said.
"You have to listen when the body begins to grumble and things like illnesses and injuries happen. You have to know when to listen and it is the precise moment to say goodbye."
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)