Arthur Abraham-Raul Marquez - Can "El Diamante" Pull Off Another Upset?

Raul Marquezby James Slater - In earning his October 4th shot at reigning IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, 36-year-old southpaw Raul Marquez upset the odds. Taking on the unbeaten and much younger Giovanni Lorenzo of The Dominican Republic, Mexican veteran Marquez proved he still had a lot of fight left in him, even after a now 16-year career.

Lorenzo, who was touted by some as a future champion, went down via a well earned unanimous decision win for the former IBF light-middleweight ruler. The question is, can Marquez score another, even bigger, upset against the unbeaten Abraham? Going into the October fight, the 41-3-1(29) challenger will be the underdog once again. But he figures to give "King" Arthur some difficulties.

Anyone who possesses the fighting heart, the experience and the sheer pride that Marquez does has to be given a shot. Also, "El Diamante" is a southpaw. Abraham 27-0(22), who won his IBF belt back in December of 2005 with a 5th round TKO of Kingsley Ikeke, has not defended his title against a single lefty. Not only that, but the 28-year-old has only faced one southpaw in the last three-and-a-half years - that being Canada's Ian Gardner in February of 2005. Will Marquez' stance pose the middleweight king with some problems? Maybe.

Marquez, who had his biggest fight for a number of years when he out-pointed Lorenzo, has not lost for a long time. You have to go back to the summer of 2004, or his 9th round retirement TKO loss to Jermain Taylor - to find the former champ's last loss. Putting together a seven bout unbeaten streak since, the Mexican who lives in Houston has re-proven his worth as a middleweight contender. Considering how hot "Bad Intentions" was four years ago, the TKO loss is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither are Marquez' two other career setbacks.

Losing both his unbeaten record and his IBF 154-pound championship against the tough Luis Ramon Campas in his third defence back in December of '97 (by 8th round TKO), Marquez then lost in 11rounds while attempting to regain his old belt against the then unbeaten and peaking Fernando Vargas. It's clear then, that the 36-year-old has only ever lost to the best. Is he set to continue to enjoy an Indian summer of a career?

While getting a win over Abraham, who has been looking sensational just lately - see his destruction of Edison Miranda in their return fight - would be a huge upset, it cannot be ruled out for Marquez. Not completely. With his vast experience, his knowing his last chance to be a champ again is upon him AND his southpaw stance, Marquez just might push Abraham like few other fighters ever have.

Will this be enough to beat Abraham? Maybe not, but rest assured Raul Marquez will not leave anything behind in the ring in Germany come fight time.

Article posted on 03.08.2008

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