"If he dominates or knocks out Pacquiao, he likely won't receive the acclaim and the respect he seeks because so many would believe it to be a tainted victory."
Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Expert on December 6, 2012
We're not talking about Jay-Z, or his instant cult classic from 1996 entitled "Reasonable Doubt". But we are in fact talking about Juan Manual Marquez and his rather remarkable transformation, rebirth, re-girth, or whatever you want to call it.
Let's get right to the bottom line- I think Marquez cheated.
But before we get into the specifics on why I feel this way, I first want to address why Mr. Iole, along with many other experts and columnists on the sport and around the 4th installment of Pacquiao vs Marquez, felt the same way.
It is no secret in the boxing world that Juan Manual Marquez despises Manny Pacquiao with a passion. In the aftermath of his 2004 draw with the Filipino icon and subsequent loss in the rematch of 2008, Marquez could barely contain his wrath and contempt for him.
No, he never stalked the judges of those contests.
He just flew to the Phillipines and harassed Pacquiao everywhere he went, demanding another fight. He made T-shirts that boasted of his "victories" and could be heard telling anyone who would listen about how famous he would be, if he'd won those fights.
He scoffed at the image of "Congressman Pacquiao", and seethed with bitterness at the very mentioning of his name.
Only he knows why, and he's also the only person who can explain his decision to hire one Angel Guillermo "Memo" Heredia, prior to the 3rd match a rather over-confident Pacquiao granted him.
Pacquiao was going through a divorce, hanging with an entourage the size of Rhode Island, and singing badly on national television everywhere.
Marquez went on to turn in a boxing clinic, but lost in the areas of punch-count and didn't necessarily force the action.
He lost a split decision, and he had had it.
Now, when you hire a man like Heredia, (or Angel Hernandez, as this turncoat or government rat- worthy of a "Sopranos" style whacking likes to call himself) you have to understand what you're getting into.
I'm not going to spend too much ink on this guy, but read about him if you have something for an upset stomach or a trash can nearby.
Heredia played a small role during Pacquiao part III, catering to the wishes of venerable trainer "Nacho" Beristain. This went out of the window for part IV.
Heredia and his notorious program went full tilt, and so too did Marquez's physique.
A look at the Marquez frame, and body composition for his September 2009 encounter with Floyd Mayweather, is revealing for all that it isn't.
Granted it was his 1st foray in 147lb territory. But he had nearly 5 months to prepare for the universally regarded world's best fighter at that time, and couldn't look any better than that?
The photo above shows Marquez nailing Floyd, with the same overhand right thrown at full strength that detonated Pacquiao. The picture doesn't reveal the aftermath.
Most of us will never forget something that Marquez did while preparing for Mayweather. He actually allowed HBO cameras to show us footage of him drinking his own urine to gain some sort of perceived advantage in the fight.
Anyone who would do this, will do anything to win a fight.
Which explains why he re-hired Heredia and gave him the green light to essentially run his diet, conditioning and training camp itself. Working with this man is adjacent to Manny Pacquiao firing Freddie Roach, and replacing him with Panama Lewis.
It's like a top gang member calling the police, producing a "You did what?!" facial expression.
We were surprised when patented Pacquiao bombs found their target against Marquez, and nothing happened. Shots that dropped him before- did nothing. Marquez absorbed a frightening amount of damage in round 5, but recovered and remained upright.
So it came as no "real" surprise when Juan basically went Barry Bonds on Pacquiao at the end of the 6th round.
Marquez kept his camp and sparring sessions to himself- no cameras allowed this time. And he's been staying to himself for the most part today, while balking at the prospect of a 5th fight with Pacquiao.
Logically Marquez should retire, with a finish that would trump Jordan's championship dagger of a jumpshot. But Marquez deserves a Jordanesque, Washington Wizard jersey wearing finish for his shameful association with tainted history.
Like Lance Armstrong before him, truth somehow finds a way, and will eat away at the conscious of the most stubborn among us.
Like the expression goes- if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
You get the point.