LAS VEGAS -- Juan Manuel Marquez on Monday vowed, “I am a clean fighter,” predicting his drug tests in Nevada will come back negative while adding that he’ll seek to do random, Olympic-style testing before his next fight.
“I feel very happy with my training, I feel great about the tests,” Marquez told The Times in a telephone conversation from his MGM Grand suite before boarding a flight home to Mexico. “I won’t have a problem.”
Marquez, 39, rallied from three bitterly contested fights against Manny Pacquiao –- two losses and a draw –- to knock out Pacquiao with a precise and brutal right counter-punch late in the sixth round in a likely fight-of-the-year performance Saturday night.
The fight was preceded by questions about Marquez’s new more-muscular form, which emerged in a training camp overseen by former steroid figure Angel “Memo” Heredia, who called Marquez a “Hulk” at a news conference last week.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not perform a single random drug test on Marquez or Pacquiao during their training camps, and fight promoter Top Rank did not offer to pay the commission to conduct supplemental testing.
Nevada collected pre-fight and post-fight urine samples from each fighter, and the results should be known by Dec. 17, said Keith Kizer, the commission's executive director.
Marquez said he was irritated by speculation that his body didn’t develop naturally “after working hard for four months in Mexico. If I continue fighting, I’d like to do Olympic-style anti-doping tests with my opponent.”
All indications are Marquez's next opponent will be Pacquiao.
Promoter Bob Arum said earlier Monday the grueling nature of the fourth Marquez-Pacquiao fight, and the expected greater interest in a fifth match, forces the showdown to be later than Pacquiao’s originally planned date of April 20 for his next fight.
The bout's payday would easily surpass Marquez’s $6-million guaranteed purse from Saturday, and his Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran said Monday he expects Marquez to accept another Pacquiao fight.
“I don’t know what will happen,” Marquez said. “But this fight, there was so much about people say these things about me. I don’t like to use substances. I didn’t. I trained hard.”
Marquez has spent the hours following his victory enjoying the fruits of his labor “with my team, my Mexican people.”
He’s scheduled to meet with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday, and to present him with the gloves he used in defeating Pacquiao.
“I’m very happy I finished it by a knockout, because everyone knew what happened in my last three fights, and I never knew what was going to happen with the judges,” Marquez said. “I won this fight myself. I won this victory. And I’m very happy.”
Beltran said earlier Monday the rest of Marquez’s life would’ve been stained with some unhappiness if he had never beaten Pacquiao.
“This fight is the most important one to me, I wanted to beat Pacquiao,” Marquez said when asked whether he placed too much importance on beating the Filipino star. “Right now, I feel so good about that. It feels like the Mexican people are very happy too.”
Although he repeated, “I don’t know what will happen in the future,” when asked about resuming his career, it was noted to Marquez how significantly he’ll be paid in a fifth fight.
Asked whether a big payday along with a chance to even the Pacquiao score at two wins apiece with a draw will inspire him to fight again, Marquez laughed and said, “Yes, maybe. I need to talk to my family.”