Marquez's Quest for Greatness
Will Juan Manuel Marquez defy odds and come out victorious against former pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
Mexico’s “dinamita” just turned 36 this August 23. For most boxers, this is already considered as a retiring age. However, for the Mexican people’s champion, age has only made him more crafty and intelligent inside the ring. His recent battles had also proven that his body can still hang with the young and the best.
Juan Manuel Marquez’s technical knockout win over Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz displayed Marquez’s resilience and ability to adjust. Early in the fight, Juan Manuel seemed to be bothered by Diaz’s in-your-face pressure fighting style.
With Diaz dictating the pace via his trademark volume punching, Marquez looked vulnerable but as the fight went to the middle rounds, Dinamita found his range and timing. Diaz, at that moment, had been clocked and measured to surgical precision. Marquez’s superb counter punching and variety of attacks was beginning to dominate the fight until a well-placed uppercut hit the “Baby Bull” right on the chin, dropping Diaz in the 9th. Juan Diaz never really recovered, urging referee Ramos to stop the fight.
Before the Diaz battle, he fought against Joel Casamayor for the Ring Magazine Lightweight belt. The welcome greeting for Marquez on his lightweight debut at that time was a big test for the Mexican dynamite. Joel Casamayor, though on the decline, is no pushover. The Cuban has never been stopped and his ring intelligence is just as good as Marquez.
Marquez, coming up in weight, was highly tentative in the opening rounds. He was clearly testing the waters, trying to find out if he could handle the power of Casamayor. And also, as the usual Marquez way, he was figuring out the range, timing, and effective counters. However, Casamayor was getting what he wanted in Rounds 1 to 3; teeing away with his punches. Marquez seemed to be hurting but that’s Dinamita for you, willing to take a bit of a punishment for precious data gathering.
Once again, Marquez proved his boxing IQ by effectively using jabs and right hand counters against the Cuban veteran, finally figuring him out. The Mexican is a ring scientist; a very methodical killer! The knockout came in the 11th round which was started by a thunderous Marquez right. Casamayor courageously stood up but only to fall again from Dinamita’s barrage of punches.
Marquez was the only person to stop the Casamayor and Diaz.
Juan Manuel Marquez’s last two fights showed that he could adjust, pace himself, and finish fights even with age and against strong opposition. He also did it coming up in weight. Before, Marquez was always considered to be a natural featherweight. Fought three times at super featherweight before venturing to lightweight; eventually knocking out two of the better lightweights of the time.
The biggest challenge for Marquez is nearing. On September 19, Marquez will try to beat the former #1 Pound for Pound, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Can Juan Manuel Marquez make it happen?
Marquez, once again, will bulk up to the junior Welterweight limit of 140 lbs. The odds are against him, giving up in almost all aspects --- from height, reach, speed, strength. Except for one thing… Mayweather has not fought for nearly two years.
Nevertheless, Mayweather is an intelligent fighter blessed with the genuine athletic gifts of speed and explosiveness. Juan Manuel Marquez’s ability to adjust and execute will surely be stretched to the limit.
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