Juan Manuel Marquez – In pursuit of perfection

08.03.09 - By Alistair Donkin: Something happened in at the Toyota Centre in Houston last Saturday night, something that changes the standings of great Mexican warriors of the past, something so breath taking it will not be forgotten for a long time. Boxing can be a sport to behold and last Saturday it showed in explicit detail why..

At about 11.30pm Houston time at the Toyota centre two great warriors Juan ‘the baby bull’ Diaz (34-2-17KO’S) and Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1-37KO’S) made their way to the squared circle, in hope for glory, honour and various alphabet titles. As soon as these two heroes locked horns it became clear that this would be a fight of the year contender. Diaz dictated the early pace with his pressure fighting style and high punch volume. In the first round alone he threw at ‘Dinamita’ 108 punches but Marquez would not be overwhelmed and threw a career high of 95 punches himself. This fight continued at this frantic pace throughout and it wasn’t until round 8 that Marquez accuracy started to really take over and in this round he forced a cut over ‘the baby bulls’ eye. Towards the end of round 9 Marquez put together a combination that resulted in an uppercut that propelled Diaz to the canvass. Diaz beat the count but by this time it was inevitable that Marquez would not allow the 25 year old to continue and demonstrated in perfection how to finish an opponent. A crushing body punch followed by an unforgiving uppercut put Diaz down for the second time and stopped the fight. Marquez retained the ring magazine lightweight championship and won himself the WBO,WBA, IBO 135lb titles and the respect of the boxing nation.

In kayoing Diaz Marquez proved himself at least to be an equal to his fellow countrymen Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. For years he was an unappreciated shadow of the two past greats but as the Mexican legends have fallen from their perches Marquez has continued to improve and like a fine wine has aged to perfection throughout time.

What is next for ‘Dinamita’? Well there are many possible options out there. A return with pound for pound champ Pacqiuao providing he gets past ‘the hitman’ Ricky Hatton, a fight with Hatton himself or as Marquez would prefer a fight against ‘the Pretty boy’ Floyd Mayweather at a catch weight of about 143lbs? Although Marquez is undoubtedly a popular fighter he is not in the league of the Hatton’s or Pacqiuao’s with box office appeal. This writer feels Floyd Mayweather would not be willing to cut short his retirement to face Marquez as there are more lucrative options available to him so the winner of Hatton/Pacquiao is the obvious option. A fight at Wembley arena in the UK between Marquez and Hatton is enough to get anyone excited as is a return with Pacquiao anywhere!!

Regardless of who Juan Manuel Marquez chooses to fight next I feel it’s about time we , the boxing public sit back and take a little time to respect the man himself. His determination, skills and achievements are something to behold and everything he has achieved in the ring is nothing short of perfection.

Article posted on 08.03.2009

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