• Erik Morales said his career is not defined by Manny Pacquiao
  • Morales threw shade at Juan Manuel Marquez
  • Morales-Pacquiao is one of the most remarkable rivalries in the past decade

Retired Mexican boxing icon Erik Morales is out serving some stern declaration at how his storied career must be perceived. The 43-year-old ex-champ threw shades on former rival Manny Pacquiao and fellow-Mexican Juan Marquez as he stressed that his legacy is solely borne out by his exploits inside the ring.

"My career was not defined by Pacquiao. I didn't need to beat him. I don't want to be too arrogant but nobody gave me a boxing lesson," Morales told Fox Deportes, per the Boxing Scene.

Morales' historic trilogy against the Pacman is considered as one of the most remarkable rivalries of the past decade. But more than the thrilling spectacle, the three-part boxing showdown will arguably be remembered for Pacquaio's stunning revenge KO victories in the last two meetings.

But "El Terrible" begs to disagree as he puts the spotlight on his unanimous decision win over the Filipino legend in their first fight in 2005.

"Winning by knockout is important, but for me, it was better to dominate them, make them suffer inside the ring," Morales pointed out.

A Marquez fight would have been downright sensational in addition to Morales' list of top-notch cards. For some reason, however, their paths had never crossed.

Like Morales, Marquez was a notorious nemesis to Pacquiao as well. In their fourth meeting, "Dinamita" pulled off a stunner as he sent the eight-division world champion out cold on the canvass with a vicious right hand - something that Morales failed to achieve against the Filipino.

But despite Marquez's impressive finish, Morales still believes he was the tougher adversary against the now fighting senator, more so the better fighter overall.

"When I was fighting Barrera, when I was gaining weight (and moving up), Marquez was not there... he was fighting with people who were just starting out," Morales continued.

"It wasn't until I left boxing for a little while, that Marquez catapulted up (with respect to his standing among top fighters. While I was were there, he didn't do that. I didn't need four opportunities to beat Pacquiao."

Morales retired from the fighting scene following his fourth-round knock out loss against Danny Garcia in their light-welterweight rematch in 2012.

Regarded as one of the greatest fighters in history, Morales registered a 52-9, 36 KO record over a nearly 20-year celebrated career.

Erik Morales Manny Pacquiao
Erik Morales of Mexico (L) and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines pose following their official weigh-in at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 17, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The boxers will meet for the third time for a super featherweight bout on November 18, 2006. Ethan Miller/Getty Images