Marquez-Diaz: Good vs Great - Dinamita KO's the Baby Bull!

Juan Manuel MarquezBy Paul Strauss: If you want to argue Juan Manuel Marquez is equally deserving of the best P4P designation as Manny Pacquiao, then go ahead, because you won't get any disagreement from tonight's crowd at the Toyota Center in Houston, TXJ To give you an idea of how great the fight was, note up until the 9th round kayo of Juan Diaz, the judges had this fight scored a draw! Specifically, Max Deluca scored it 77-75 for Diaz. Duane Ford had the same score, but for Marquez, and Levi Martinez had it a draw.

The bottom line is you just can't say enough about Juan Manuel Marquez. He is an unbelievably great fighter. Early in the fight, it appeared Diaz fans might be right in their prediction of youth prevailing over experience. Diaz seemed to be controlling the pace and distance of the fight. He was driving Marquez into the ropes and unleashing his patented rapid punching style on the more seasoned little Dinamita..

However, Marquez was landing less sensational, but still telling counter punches to both the head and body of the Baby Bull. Whenever he would land something, though, Diaz would come back with another flurry. Diaz was out jabbing Marquez, and managed to land several hard left hooks to the head.

Trainer Ronnie Shields advised Diaz to continue to use his jab, and to stay down and drive Marquez back. Nacho Beristain told Marquez that everything was okay, but he needed to step back from Diaz's punches and then counter with the right hand. By the third round, it became apparent that Marquez was attempting to set Diaz up for the left uppercut. He also was landing a good right to the body of Diaz. Diaz was still throwing more punches, but his left hook wasn't landing with quite the same frequency as in the first couple of rounds. Harold Lederman's unofficial scorecard had the fight a shut out for Diaz......3 rounds to none.

The fourth round was very difficult to score as there were several exciting exchanges that brought cheers from the crowd. There maybe was a slight edge for Marquez. Nacho told Marquez that Diaz's mouth was already open, but Marquez came out of the round with a cut over the his right eye. It was probably the result of a left hook.

Between rounds, Ronnie Shields told Diaz that everything was going good, but cautioned Diaz to step in with his jab, and not to fall in and get off balance, Such a mistake would open him up for counter punches. Diaz listened and took round five.

Round six was another extremely close round with lots of action, but Marquez seemed to have gained a slight edge with the cleaner, more effective punches. After the round, Ronnie Shields pointed out to Diaz that he realized he was taking a breather, but not to make that mistake again. Nacho reminded Marquez that he shouldn't let Diaz build anything, meaning any kind of momentum.

The seventh round was another close tough round, and Nacho told Marquez to stay away from the ropes. Ronnie Shields told Diaz to move his head more, as the Baby Bull caught a hard left uppercut that cut his right eyelid. It was obvious from the way he reacted that it was going to be trouble for him. Ronnie Shieds told him to use his jab and feints more.

In the ninth round, Marquez landed a huge right to the temple area of Diaz's head. He followed with a combination, which ended with an uppercut. Diaz went down and looked badly hurt. True to his warrior nature he beat the count, but instead of attempting to clinch long enough for his head to clear, he chose to trade punches with Marquez. That was a big mistake, because he hadn't yet regained his reflexes, so he was a target. Marquez used his experience to mix up his attack, with punches to the head and body, which allowed him to drive through another big punch. This time it was a right uppercut to the chin that pole axed the Baby Bull. The fight was over at 2:40 of the ninth round. Juan Manuel Marquez won over the tough loyal Diaz fans with his great performance. So, what is next for Dinamita?

Most experts felt that he would want to fight the winner of the Hatton vs. Pac Man fight. But, in the post fight interview, Marquez (through a translator) said that he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. When asked why? He said that he can't get the current P4P fighter (Pac Man) to fight him, so he has to go after the retired P4P fighter.

The undercard was also a very good fight, but once again Rocky Juarez came up a little bit short. The fight ended in a draw, even though Chris John threw and landed many more punches. He also controlled the pace and distance of the fight. But, Rocky came on strong in the last couple of rounds, and seemed to have John in some trouble.

For Juarez fans, the fight started with promise, as the usually slow starting Rocky seemed to be breaking his pattern a bit. He came out jabbing and forcing the action. But, by the end of the second round, and definitely by the third round, John started to step up his volume of punches, and started to break up Rocky's plans. John is very clever and fast. He out jabbed Rocky, and when Rocky would manage to get close, John would tie him up, or move out of danger.

It was obvious Rocky was the harder puncher of the two; although, you wouldn't have guessed it looking at his bruised face. When Rocky wanted to, he could put together some nice hard combinations that obviously bothered John. But, too often he was victimized by John's repeated one-two punch combination thrown over and over again.

Instead of Rocky trying to slip or duck under the right hand, he would attempt to block it and then counter punch. More often than not, he was too late, because John would have moved, so Rocky would have to reload. It was frustrating to watch. You wanted to yell at Rocky to slip the right hand and counter instead of repeatedly tying up his counter left hook by using it to block?

Ronnie Shields pulled double duty tonight and was also in Rocky's corner, and he told Rocky to back up John and to go more to the body. John's corner told him to keep Rocky from getting too close

In the third round, it was already obvious that Rocky needed to rip more shots to the body. John was using a good right uppercut to keep Rocky off of him. John's corner told him between rounds to use the right hand more, and to keep throwing one-two's. He was also told to move to his left, which would be away from Rocky's good left hook.

Rocky ended the fourth with a good left to the body and right to the head, and might have taken the round, but John was still out working him. John's trainer told him to keep his jab in Rocky's face. Ronnie Shields wanted Rocky to keep going to the body, as he felt Rocky was hurting him .

In the fifth and sixth rounds, Ronnie Shields was getting a little frustrated with Rocky. He scolded him, saying Rocky needed to get closer to John. He told Rocky that he couldn't let John have his own way, and that he shouldn't give him any room and that he had to out work him. John caught Rocky with a good overhand right toward the end of the sixth.

By this time, Harold Lederman's unofficial scorecard had John leading five rounds to one. Rocky just wasn't doing enough. He even let John get away with throwing sloppy lead right hands. Ronnie told Rocky he needed to throw combinations, not just one shot at a time. John threw 110 punches in the sixth round.

Rocky came back strong in the seventh round. He seemed more determined, and was working harder. He landed a good double left combination......first to the body and then the head. The eighth brought a return edge to John, as he once again outworked Rocky.

Between rounds, both corners told their fighters they needed to win the last three rounds. Ring commentator and great trainer Emanuel Steward said that Rocky should forget about trying to land body shots, and go strictly for head shots and try to knock out John. In the tenth round, John once again landed a telling one-two punch combination. Rocky just couldn't seem to deal effectively with it.

In the eleventh, Rocky ignored Manny's advice and landed a hard left hook to John's body, which visibly hurt John. He followed up with another body shot, this time a right to the body, and then to the head. John countered with his own right as the round ended. It was Rocky's round, and there was a glimmer of hope that he might be able to stop John. Ronnie Shields pointed out to Rocky that the crowd was behind him, and that they wanted him to knock out John. Ronnie asked, "Do you hear them?"

Rocky came out strong in the twelfth and final round, but it was a refrain of his past big fights. It was just not quite enough. In fact, Harold Lederman had the fight 116-112 in favor of John, but the official score cards of all three judges read 114-114, so once again it was close, but no cigar for Rocky. Not surprisingly, in the post fight interviews, both fighters thought they had won the fight, but John realistically had more evidence to back up his claim. Compubox totals showed John threw 628 punches to Rocky's 358. John also landed more.....344 to 206. Rocky might have landed the harder punches, but it was his face that showed the most damage. John added that he is ready for anyone, including a rematch with Rocky. He also said he would be willing to fight Juan Manuel Marquez again. HBO can be proud of their card tonight. It was a real treat for fight fans, and far more exciting than the PPV fights of Cotto and Pavlik.

What do you say..........Is Marquez the best P4P?

Article posted on 01.03.2009

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