Nacho Beristain was back in Rafael Marquez's corner for the first time in years this past Saturday night in Indio, California, and after watching the 37-year-old fighter take a beating from Efrain Esquivias, Beristain says he has told Marquez to retire from the sport, which shouldn't be any surprise.
"He has to go, his reflexes are no longer the same and the legs are no longer working. He knows that he must walk away. I told him he should not fight anymore and he said he would think about it - but I think that there is nothing to think about - and he must walk away."
Beristain says he wanted to stop the fight in the fifth round, but Marquez asked to continue, which Nacho obliged. He also says that if the referee had not stepped it when he did, he was definitely going to throw in the towel at that point. Beristain is not a trainer afraid to talk a fighter out of continuing to take beatings; you'll recall that he was the man in the corner advising Oscar De La Hoya to give it up against Manny Pacquiao back in 2008, and that was the last time that Oscar fought.
Marquez (41-9, 37 KO) is definitely done as a contender. This fight left no debate about that. If he fights again, one can only hope it's just a farewell bout in Mexico against a non-threat, something he does just to say goodbye, with little risk to his own health. (As an aside, I like that this is a way of thinking in boxing, that we should sacrifice some schlub to the great legacy of Marquez so that we can see his hand raised once again. "Little risk to Marquez's health," I say, while ignoring that someone else's health would then definitely be at risk. What an asshole thing to think.)