Following Juan Manuel Marquez’s shocking knockout of Manny Pacquiao Saturday, the boxing world has tried to figure out how the 39-year-old Marquez suddenly found more punching power than he had in his first three encounters with Pacquiao. The conventional wisdom/conspiracy theory of choice is that Marquez has been doping.
To wit: he showed up at Pacquiao-Marquez IV with more muscle than he’s ever had before, he knocked out Pacquiao (something that hasn’t been done by anyone since 1999), and his trainer is Angel Hernandez. Hernandez – formerly known as Angel Heredia – was a part of the BALCO investigation and admitted to sending performance-enhancing drugs to several track athletes, including Marion Jones.
But Pacquiao’s mother doesn’t think that’s the cause. She thinks it’s because he abandoned Catholicism for Protestantism before the Timothy Bradley fight (also a loss).
The night before Pacquiao-Marquez III, Pacquiao’s wife told him she planned on divorcing him. Many attribute this to his lackluster performance in his decision victory over Marquez. Over the following months, Manny stopped gambling, hanging out with other women and experienced a religious awakening. His relationship with his wife, Jinkee, has since been reconciled and his personal life appeared to be in order heading into the Bradley and fourth Marquez fights.
While his life may be together, his mom, Dionisia Pacquiao, thinks that’s why he’s not winning anymore, saying: “Since the Protestant ‘pastors’ came into his life, he has not focus on his boxing.”
She may be partially right in that Pacquiao delayed his move to Los Angeles for training for the most recent Marquez fight by two weeks so he could handle government and personal business in his native Philippines.
Pacquiao is now 0-2 since his third fight with Marquez and the proposed superfight with Floyd Mayweather is all but dead now as a result. Mayweather would never agree to an even split with a fighter on that kind of streak, and money has been the sticking point in all of their negotiations.
Both Pacquiao and Marquez stated after the fight they plan to continue their careers. Pacquiao even hinted that a fifth fight with Marquez would be amenable to him.