Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has informed WBN that is was his belief that Juan Manuel Marquez was almost pulled from his Manny Pacquiao destiny.
After being dropped and largely dominated in their fourth installment back in 2012, the corner of Marquez may have been caught in two minds, according to the Hall of Famer.
Marquez eventually claimed an unbelievable triumph with as sweet a right hand that you will ever see. But Arum says the ‘punch heard around the world’ was almost never landed.
“It looked to me that Juan Manuel Marquez’s corner was contemplating stopping the fight,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“In my eyes, he was taking a beating before Manny Pacquiao walked into that right hand.”
Following three previously contentious decisions, Marquez had finally gained his revenge to end one of the most successful sagas in boxing.
Pacquiao chased and chased the fifth contest until Marquez retired in 2014, even coming back with another offer years later.
But the Mexican legend wanted that full stop. He wanted that claim to fame. JMM knew that facing Pacquiao again would bring the danger of the Filipino reversing the tide.
Therefore, the fifth clash never happened. But this wasn’t for the lack of trying on Arum’s part.
“I know that we offered him either six or seven million dollars, which was far more than he ever made for the fourth fight,” Arum explained to WBN.
“The offer was made within a year of Marquez scoring the knockout. So we offered him six million. Then I know we went up to eight or nine (million), something like that.”
Not taking the bait, Marquez eventually bowed out by defeating Mike Alvarado in May 2014 at The Forum.
Six years on, and Pacquiao remains active in his pursuit of massive fights, potentially a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
For his part, Marquez stood firm on his decision and is now a successful commentator, even analyzing ‘Pacman’ fights in his role.
What would have happened if they met again? – We will just never know.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay