Marquez KO's Casamayor & Forrest gets revenge

Joel CasamayorBy Paul Strauss: Move over Oscar, There's a New Mexican Hero! Dinamita is the new sheriff in town, but it was no easy task. The fight was very close until the dramatic eleventh round. In fact, several rounds could have gone either way, or been scored even. But, it was obvious Joel Casamayor was recipient of the most damaging blows. By the 5th round, he was bleeding from a cut above the right eye, and also from the nose. As always though, El Cepillo was still very dangerous.

The fight started in usual fashion for Joel Casamayor. He was warned for pushing Marquez’s head down. In fact, ringside announcer Ron Borges said that before the ring action started, “He (Casamayor) had already won the yapping end of the fight..

Nacho Beristain, who is Marquez' trainer, told him it's ok, “You give him the first couple of rounds, and then it's yours.” Seemed like strange advice at the time, but ended up prophetic. In the second round, Juan worked the body and also landed a good uppercut, Casamayor landed a good counter left.

In the third round, Marquez stung Casamayor with a good right hand, but got warned for a low-blow. Both men proved to be masters at the technical aspects of the game. There's nothing flashy about either one of these two warriors, but they're a joy to watch. They slip, they duck, and pick off and catch punches, and at the same time fire off their own counter. Plus, they're both just plain tough!

By the fourth round, the punch count was even. Casamayor's eye was first cut in this round, but his corner told him, "(There's) No problem yet." But, early in the fifth round, a sharp right from Marquez made the eye a problem, as it started to bleed. In the sixth, Marquez mixed up his attack well by going to the body and then the head.

In the seventh round, Casamayor was warned for a low blow, and it seemed Marquez was starting to take an edge in controlling the action. He was beating Casamayor to the punch, and
Casamayor showed the beginning signs of frustration. In the eighth round, Nacho told Marquez to throw more combinations, but Casamayor started backing him up, and Marquez wasn't countering as much. He also let up on throwing body punches. The eighth and ninth rounds should both have been scored for Casamayor.

In the tenth round, Marquez landed a good right, and Casamayor shook his head. That’s supposed to signify the punch didn’t hurt him, but a second after he did that, Marquez shook his head again with good hard stiff jab. In the eleventh round, the action was fairly balanced, with Marquez probably having a slight edge, but Casmayor still appeared to be extremely dangerous.

However, toward the end of the round, Marquez unleashed a combination, which included several good lefts. Casamayor tried to back out of range, and seemed to, but just as he let his guard down, Marquez fired a long right that caught him flush. The punch sent the Cuban great to the canvas, and he was obviously in big trouble. There's no quit in this former champion though, and he beat the count, and appeared ready to grab and hold until his head cleared, but Marquez wasn't about to let him do so. He shook loose from Casamayor's clutches, and unleashed a barrage of punches, again finishing with a right hand to the chin. Casamayor went down again, and this time the fight was over. It was 2'55 seconds of the eleventh, and for the first time in his career, Casamayor was stopped. The MGM Grand, full of Marquez fans, erupted in cheers for their hero. Ron Borges port-fight interview had Marquez agreeing with a leading question about chasing Manny Pacquiao, but he added that he will fight anyone his promoter lines up for him.

Surprisingly, Casamayor stuck around in the ring after the fight, and even posed for a picture with Marquez. He was being gracious in defeat. What a great career this man has had. He really doesn't need to battle on anymore. No one would blame him a bit if he unlaced the gloves and took life a little easier.

Revenge was the name of the game for the semi-main event. Vernon Forrest proved that he wasn't himself for the first fight with Sergio Mora. Forrest did much more in this fight, staying disciplined, using his jab to punish Mora. The fight started out close with Forrest having the edge with jabs, and Mora already demonstrating his game plan to try and tire Forrest by making him miss, then holding, and leaning on him, and uncorking a few left hooks to the body.

Forrest landed his first stinging right hand behind the Latin Snake's ear in the second round. In the third round there was head butt, and Forrest seemed to take the worst from it. As Forrest backed up to get some relief from the hurt, Mora tried to chase him down, but he didn't accomplish much in the way of damage.

In the fourth round, Forrest still seemed to be head-hunting too much. In between rounds, Buddy McGirt told Forrest, “Jab more!”! The fifth round was one of the better rounds up to this point. Forrest started getting rougher, and realized it takes two to clinch, so he wasn't letting Mora get away with it as much. He caught Mora on the ropes, and landed several glancing right hands.

Mora sustained a cut above the right eye in this round. Ringside commentator Ron Borges said,
"He (Mora) can't take much more abuse like this round."

In between rounds, it was obvious Mora was spitting blood out along with the water. In the sixth round, he came close to being penalized a point for hitting Forrest after a break when Forrest back was turned. In the seventh round, Forrest seemed to take it easier, conserving his energy. He came on strong at the end of the round, though, backing up Mora and landing a good left hand that sent Mora sprawling toward the ropes. He was able to use the ropes to keep himself upright, but refereed Vic Drakulich called a knockdown, and administered an eight count.

In the eighth round, Forrest was confident enough to look to Barry Thompkins and Ron Borges, the ringside announcers, and wink! Mora was getting desperate, and for the first time switched to southpaw, but it didn't do any good. Forrest still controlled the action.

By the ninth round, it was essentially Forrest's fight. Even if Mora managed to win the rest of the rounds, he still wouldn't be able to come away with a victory. Everyone knew he didn't have the power to score a knockout, unless Forrest ran into one. Mora only has five knockouts in his career, and he wasn't about to get a sixth in this fight.

The cut above Mora's right eye seemed to be bothering him. He started to rub at it, which probably didn't do it any good. Then out of no where Mora landed a big (for him) right hand. It brought some excitement to the crowd, but it soon became obvious that Forrest was in no danger.

McGirt told Forrest to use the jab, and double jab and leave the head alone. Forrest shortened his right hands, making them more effective. By the tenth round, he had landed a hundred more punches than Mora!

The eleventh and twelfth rounds were close, with Mora landing a punishing "rabbit punch!
Forrest scored with a good left hook. However, Forrest was back to swinging and looping his punches. He appeared tired, but so did Mora. The start of the twelfth had Mora springing out with a left hook to the body, but Forrest tagged him with several hard rights. Forrest finished strong, and deservedly came away with a unanimous decision, and handed Mora his first defeat. The judges scored the fight: 118-109, 117-110, and 119-108. Forrest told the youthful “wanna be's” to take note that his performance was "Boxing 101"

Danny Perez was called only one week ago about fighting hard punching Julio Garcia. Garcia was originally scheduled to fight Yory Boy Campas, but Yory Boy was scratched. Perez, who had fought only once in the past three years, proved to be ready for the task. In fact, he gave Garcia a boxing lesson, throwing 830 punches to Garcia's 545. His connect percentage was 33% to Garcia's meager 16%. Garcia wasn't marked up, but he was totally beaten. The judges scored the fight 100-90, 99-91, and 97-93, all for Perez.

Victor Ortiz proved to be too much for the game Roberto Arrieta. Arrieta was like someone who engaged in target practice with a .22 cal, when the other guy had a .357. They both might be able to hit the target, but oh my, what a difference!. By the fourth round, Arrieta has sustained a bad cut over the right eye. Mercifully, the fight was stopped at 2:25 seconds of the fifth round. Ortiz is now 22W 1L 1D, with 17 KO's, and holder of the NABO belt.

The MGM, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO can hold their heads high after tonight. What happened to Jim Lampley, Emanual Steward, Lennox Lewis, Max Kellerman and Larry Merchant? They missed a great show!

Article posted on 14.09.2008

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